Russian Meteorology and Hydrology

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 178–187 | Cite as

Icebergs in the Southern Ocean and Factors Defining Their Distribution

  • Yu. A. Romanov
  • N. A. Romanova


Using the data of ~58 000 ship observations of Antarctic icebergs in 1947–2014, the map of average summertime concentration of icebergs (namely, of their number within a circle with the radius of 15 nautical miles) in the Southern Ocean was constructed. The main features of the iceberg distribution are revealed, and their possible reasons are investigated. It is shown that in the open ocean sea currents play a key role in the iceberg distribution. Wind effects are pronounced when ocean currents are weak or absent. According to the authors’ estimates, wind plays a decisive role only in the formation of one wide quasimeridional tongue of high iceberg concentration in the Weddell Sea. It is difficult to assess the impact of Antarctic glaciers’ productivity on the iceberg distribution, because currents, wind, and breaking and jamming of icebergs in shallow water areas cause their rapid redistribution. The clear physical explanation of the main features of iceberg concentration distribution on the constructed map indicates that it provides a rather real pattern.


Southern Ocean icebergs glacier productivity currents wind 


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Copyright information

© Allerton Press, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shirshov In stitute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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