During the CLIMA Project (R.V. Italica cruise PNRA XVI, January-February 2001), hydrographic and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) observations were obtained, particularly in the western Ross Sea. Their distribution demonstrated water mass structure and ventilation processes in the investigated areas. In the surface waters (AASW) the CFC saturation levels varied spatially: CFCs were undersaturated in all the areas (range from 80 to 90%), with the exception of few stations sampled near Ross Island. In particular, the Terra Nova Bay polynya, where high salinity shelf water (HSSW) is produced, was a low-saturated surface area (74%) with respect to CFCs. Throughout most of the shelf area, the presence of modified circumpolar deep water (MCDW) was reflected in a mid-depth CFC concentration minima. Beneath the MCDW, CFC concentrations generally increased in the shelf waters towards the seafloor. We estimated that the corresponding CFCs saturation level in the source water region for HSSW was about 68-70%. Waters with high CFC concentrations were detected in the western Ross Sea on the down slope side of the Drygalski Trough, indicating that AABW was being supplied to the deep Antarctic Basin.Estimates of ventilation ages depend strongly on the saturation levels. We calculated ventilation ages using the saturation level calibrated tracer ratio, CFC11/CFC12. We deduced a mean residence time of the shelf waters of about 6-7 years between the western Ross Sea source and the shelf break.

Distribution and ventilation of water masses in the western Ross Sea inferred from CFC measurements

RIVARO, PAOLA FRANCESCA;IANNI, MARIA CARMELA;MAGI, EMANUELE;MASSOLO, SERENA;
2015-01-01

Abstract

During the CLIMA Project (R.V. Italica cruise PNRA XVI, January-February 2001), hydrographic and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) observations were obtained, particularly in the western Ross Sea. Their distribution demonstrated water mass structure and ventilation processes in the investigated areas. In the surface waters (AASW) the CFC saturation levels varied spatially: CFCs were undersaturated in all the areas (range from 80 to 90%), with the exception of few stations sampled near Ross Island. In particular, the Terra Nova Bay polynya, where high salinity shelf water (HSSW) is produced, was a low-saturated surface area (74%) with respect to CFCs. Throughout most of the shelf area, the presence of modified circumpolar deep water (MCDW) was reflected in a mid-depth CFC concentration minima. Beneath the MCDW, CFC concentrations generally increased in the shelf waters towards the seafloor. We estimated that the corresponding CFCs saturation level in the source water region for HSSW was about 68-70%. Waters with high CFC concentrations were detected in the western Ross Sea on the down slope side of the Drygalski Trough, indicating that AABW was being supplied to the deep Antarctic Basin.Estimates of ventilation ages depend strongly on the saturation levels. We calculated ventilation ages using the saturation level calibrated tracer ratio, CFC11/CFC12. We deduced a mean residence time of the shelf waters of about 6-7 years between the western Ross Sea source and the shelf break.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/847828
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