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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-11-27
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Large solitary meanders are arguably the dominant mode of variability in the Agulhas Current. Observational studies have shown that these large meanders are associated with strong upwelling velocities and affect the shelf circulation for over 100 days per year. Here 10-year time series from two ocean general circulation models are used to create a composite picture of the Agulhas Current and its interactions with the shelf circulation in meandering and nonmeandering modes. Both models show good agreement with the size, propagation speed, and frequency of observed meanders. These composite meanders are then used to examine the response of shelf waters to the onset of large meanders, with the use of model output enabling the dynamics at depth to be explored. Results show a composite mean warming of up to 3°C of depth-averaged temperature along the shelf edge associated with an intrusion of the current jet onto the shelf driven by an intensification of the flow along the leading edge of large meanders. However, this intensification of flow results in cooling of bottom waters, driving cold events at the shelf break of 〈10°C at 100 m. Thus, the intensification of the current jet associated with large meander events appears to drive strong up and downwelling events across the inshore front of the Agulhas Current, facilitating shelf-slope exchange.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-11-22
    Description: Many questions in ocean and climate modelling require the combined use of high resolution, global coverage and multi-decadal integration length. For this combination, even modern resources limit the use of traditional structured-mesh grids. Here we compare two approaches: A high-resolution grid nested into a global model at coarser resolution (NEMO with AGRIF) and an unstructured-mesh grid (FESOM) which allows to variably enhance resolution where desired. The Agulhas system around South Africa is used as a testcase, providing an energetic interplay of a strong western boundary current and mesoscale dynamics. Its open setting into the horizontal and global overturning circulations also requires global coverage. Both model configurations simulate a reasonable large-scale circulation. Distribution and temporal variability of the wind-driven circulation are quite comparable due to the same atmospheric forcing. However, the overturning circulation differs, owing each model’s ability to represent formation and spreading of deep water masses. In terms of regional, high-resolution dynamics, all elements of the Agulhas system are well represented. Owing to the strong nonlinearity in the system, Agulhas Current transports of both configurations and in comparison with observations differ in strength and temporal variability. Similar decadal trends in Agulhas Current transport and Agulhas leakage are linked to the trends in wind forcing. Although the number of 3D wet grid points used in FESOM is similar to that in the nested NEMO, FESOM uses about two times the number of CPUs to obtain the same model throughput (in terms of simulated model years per day). This is feasible due to the high scalability of the FESOM code.
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-11-08
    Description: The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) carries water freely around the whole continent of Antarctica, but not without obstructions. Some, such as the Drake Passage, constrict its path, while others, such as mid-ocean ridges, may induce meandering in the current's cores and may cause the genesis of mesoscale turbulence. It has recently been demonstrated that some regions that are only relatively shallow may also have a major effect on the flow patterns of the ACC. This is here shown to be particularly true for the Conrad Rise. Using the trajectories of surface drifters, altimetry and the simulated velocities from a numerical model, we show that the ACC bifurcates at the western side of this Rise. In this process it forms two intense jets at the two meridional extremities of the Rise with a relatively stagnant water body over the Rise itself. Preliminary results from a recent cruise provide compelling support for this portrayal.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-05-24
    Description: Deep current meter data and output from two high-resolution global ocean circulation models are used to determine the prevalence and location of strong bottom currents in the greater Agulhas Current system. The two models and current meter data are remarkably consistent, showing that benthic storms, with bottom currents greater than 0.2 m s(-1), occur throughout the Agulhas retroflection region south of Africa more than 20% of the time. Furthermore, beneath the mean Agulhas Current core and the retroflection front, bottom currents exceed 0.2 m s(-1) more than 50% of the time, while away from strong surface currents, bottom currents rarely exceed 0.2 m s(-1). Implications for sediment transport are discussed and the results are compared to atmospheric storms. Benthic storms of this strength (0.2 m s(-1)) are comparable to a 9 m s(-1) (Beaufort 5) windstorm, but scaling shows that benthic storms may be less effective at lifting and transporting sediment than dust storms.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 6
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    AGU
    In:  Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (15). pp. 3997-4000.
    Publication Date: 2017-06-20
    Description: Current research indicates an increase in Agulhas leakage for the past and coming decades. This change potentially alters the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, in particular, through advection of positive density anomalies into the North Atlantic. To explore the fate of Agulhas leakage, results from a Lagrangian analysis were evaluated, with virtual floats advected within an eddy-permitting ocean model (ORCA025). A considerable fraction of Agulhas leakage reached the subtropical North Atlantic: of a mean Agulhas leakage transport of 15.3 Sv entering the South Atlantic, 9.7, 7.7, and 6.1 Sv crossed sections at 6 degrees S, 6 degrees N, and 26 degrees N, respectively. The most probable transit time of leakage to reach the respective latitudes is one to two decades. We suggest that changes in Agulhas leakage could manifest in the Gulf Stream regime most probably within two decades. These results were supported by an eddy-resolving implementation of the ocean model (INALT01)
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 7
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    Springer
    In:  In: High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering '13. , ed. by Nagel, W. E., Kröner, D. B. and Resch, M. M. Springer, Heidelberg u.a., pp. 569-576. ISBN 978-3-319-02164-5
    Publication Date: 2014-05-12
    Description: The Agulhas is a convoluted and multifarious system [1]. It consists of a western boundary current, the Agulhas Current, which is arguably one of the most prominent current systems of the Southern Hemisphere (Fig.1). The Agulhas Current, roughly on par with its Northern Hemisphere counterpart, the Gulf Stream, carries vast amount of heat and salt towards the pole [2].
    Type: Book chapter , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
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    In:  [Talk] In: AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, 23.-28.2.2014, Honolulu, USA .
    Publication Date: 2014-12-19
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 9
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    Elsevier
    In:  Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 119 . pp. 69-76.
    Publication Date: 2017-12-19
    Description: Mesoscale eddies and meanders have been shown to be one of the dominant sources of flow variability in the world's ocean. One example of an isolated eddy hotspot is the South-West Indian Ridge (SWIR). Several investigations have shown that the SWIR and the corresponding planetary potential vorticity field (f/H) exert a strong influence on the location and dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), resulting in substantial fragmentation of the jets downstream of the ridge. The easterly extension of this eddy corridor appears to be restricted to the deep channel separating the Conrad Rise from the Del Cano and Crozet Plateau. However, while the fate of eddies formed at the SWIR has been widely investigated and the frontal character of this eastward extension is well known, the zone of diminishing variability that extends southwards to approximately 60°S remains poorly sampled. Using a combination of Argo, AVISO and NCEP/NCAR datasets, the character of this eddy corridor as a conduit for warm core eddies to move across the ACC into the Antarctic zone is investigated. In this study, we track a single warm-core eddy as it moves southwards from an original position of 31°E, 50°20'S to where it dissipates 10 months later in the Enderby Basin at 56°20'S. An Argo float entrained within the eddy confirms that its water masses are consistent with water found within the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone north of the APF. Latent and sensible heat fluxes are on average 8W/m2 and 10W/m2 greater over the eddy than directly east of this feature. It is estimated that the eddy lost an average of 5W/m2 of latent heat and 5W/m2 of sensible heat over a 1-year period, an amount capable of melting approximately 0.92m of sea ice. In addition, using an eddy tracking algorithm a total of 28 eddies are identified propagating southwards, 25 of which are anti-cyclonic in rotation. Based on the new Argo float data, combined with AVISO and NCEP/NCAR datasets, these results suggest that the southward passage of warm-core eddies act as vehicles transporting heat, salt and biota southwards across the ACC and into the eastern boundary of the Weddell gyre.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 28 (24). pp. 9697-9706.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-25
    Description: The upper tropical Atlantic Ocean has markedly warmed since the 1960s. It has been shown that this warming was not due to local heat fluxes, and that the trade winds that drive the coastal and equatorial upwelling have intensified rather than weakened. Remote forcing might thus have played an important role. Here model experiments are used to investigate the contribution from an increased inflow of warm Indian Ocean water through Agulhas leakage. A high-resolution hindcast experiment with interannually varying forcing for the time period 1948 to 2007, in which Agulhas leakage increases by about 45% from the 1960s to the early 2000s, reproduces the observed warming trend. To tease out the role of Agulhas leakage, a sensitivity experiment designed to only increase Agulhas leakage is used. Compared to a control simulation it shows a pronounced warming in the upper tropical Atlantic Ocean. A Lagrangian trajectory analysis confirms that a significant portion of Agulhas leakage water reaches the upper 300m of the tropical Atlantic Ocean within two decades, and that the tropical Atlantic warming in the sensitivity experiment is mainly due to water of Agulhas origin. Therefore, it is suggested that the increased trade winds since the 1960s favor upwelling of warmer subsurface waters, which in parts originate from the Agulhas, leading to higher SSTs in the tropics
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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