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Physical and biogeochemical structure of Southern Ocean eddies

Patel, RS ORCID: 0000-0002-5302-6509 2021 , 'Physical and biogeochemical structure of Southern Ocean eddies', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is the dominant feature of the Southern Ocean and is an integral part of the global meridional overturning circulation. Importantly, it acts as a barrier to the cross-frontal exchange of both physical and biogeochemical tracers and preserves the cold-climate of Antarctica. Understanding the exchange of tracers across the ACC remains a key open question, critical to understanding the past and projecting future changes. Mesoscale eddies have been identified as one mechanism which facilitates this cross-frontal transport. However, observations of individual eddies are rare. Only a few studies have examined the subsurface structure of the physical properties of eddies and their contribution to heat and salt transport. Furthermore, as of yet no studies have explored the subsurface biogeochemical structure of Southern Ocean eddies. The goal of this thesis is to analyse in situ observations to characterise the subsurface physical and biogeochemical structure of cold-core eddies, to enable estimation of the cross-frontal exchanges of heat, salt, and nutrient. In our analysis, we also incorporate satellite observations and eddy tracking software, and an eddy-resolving general ocean circulation model to extend our analysis in space and heat and salt transport.
We present novel in situ observations that allow characterization of cold-core eddy’s the threedimensional physical and biogeochemical structure. The sampled eddy was generated at the Subantarctic Front south of Tasmania, Australia – recognised as a hotspot for cross-frontal transport. Automated eddy detection software was used in conjunction with satellite altimetry to track the eddy through the Subantarctic Zone. Our results demonstrate strong transformation in physical and biogeochemical properties over its lifespan. We also showed that the eddy carried cold, fresh and nutrient rich water in its core, with respect to surrounding water. Relative to surrounding Subantarctic Zone waters, the eddy carried heat and salt content anomalies of

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Patel, RS
Keywords: Mesoscale eddies; Southern Ocean; Meridional transport; Physical properties; bogeochemical properties
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