Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 743–757 | Cite as

The cyclonic circulation in the Australian–Antarctic basin simulated by an eddy-resolving general circulation model

  • Shigeru Aoki
  • Yoshikazu Sasai
  • Hideharu Sasaki
  • Humio Mitsudera
  • Guy D. Williams
Article

Abstract

Flow structure in the Australian–Antarctic basin is investigated using an eddy-resolving general ocean circulation model and validated with iceberg and middepth float trajectories. A cyclonic circulation system between the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and Antarctic Slope Current consists of a large-scale gyre in the west (80–110° E) and a series of eddies in the east (120–150° E). The western gyre has an annual mean westward transport of 22 Sv in the southern limb. Extending west through the Princess Elizabeth Trough, 5 Sv of the gyre recirculates off Prydz Bay and joins the western boundary current off the Kerguelen Plateau. Iceberg trajectories from QuickScat and ERS-1/2 support this recirculation and the overall structure of the Antarctic Slope Current against isobath in the model. Argo float trajectories also reveal a consistent structure of the deep westward slope current. This study indicates the presence of a large cyclonic circulation in this basin, which is comparable to the Weddell and Ross gyres.

Keywords

Cyclonic gyre Australian–Antarctic basin Transport OFES Iceberg drift Argo float 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Discussion with Masaaki Wakatsuchi and Keiichiro Ohshima on cyclonic eddy structure was invaluable. Yasu Fukamachi provided useful information on the mooring results. Andrew Meijers did extensive analysis of LADCP observations of the BROKE-West cruise and provided the data. The OFES simulation was conducted on the Earth Simulator. Argo data were collected and made freely available by the Coriolis project (http://www.coriolis.eu.org) and Japan Argo project (http://www.jamstec.go.jp/ARGO/J_ARGOe.html). This work was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (15710001 and 17340138) of the MEXT of the Japanese Government.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigeru Aoki
    • 1
  • Yoshikazu Sasai
    • 2
  • Hideharu Sasaki
    • 3
  • Humio Mitsudera
    • 1
  • Guy D. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Frontier Research Center for Global ChangeJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Earth Simulator CenterJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokohamaJapan

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