Accessibility navigation

Topographic control of Southern Ocean gyres and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current: a barotropic perspective

Patmore, R. D. ORCID:, Holland, P. R., Munday, D. R., Garabato, A. C. N., Stevens, D. P. and Meredith, M. P. (2019) Topographic control of Southern Ocean gyres and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current: a barotropic perspective. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49 (12). pp. 3221-3244. ISSN 1520-0485

Text (Open access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-19-0083.1


In the Southern Ocean the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is significantly steered by large topographic features, and subpolar gyres form in their lee. The geometry of topographic features in the Southern Ocean is highly variable, but the influence of this variation on the large-scale flow is poorly understood. Using idealized barotropic simulations of a zonal channel with a meridional ridge, it is found that the ridge geometry is important for determining the net zonal volume transport. A relationship is observed between ridge width and volume transport that is determined by the form stress generated by the ridge. Gyre formation is also highly reliant on the ridge geometry. A steep ridge allows gyres to form within regions of unblocked geostrophic (f/H) contours, with an increase in gyre strength as the ridge width is reduced. These relationships among ridge width, gyre strength, and net zonal volume transport emerge to simultaneously satisfy the conservation of momentum and vorticity.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:106399
Publisher:American Meteorological Society


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation