Intermittent Reduction in Ocean Heat Transport Into the Getz Ice Shelf Cavity During Strong Wind Events
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionGeophysical Research Letters. 2021, 48 (14), 1-11. 10.1029/2021GL093599
The flow of warm water toward the western Getz Ice Shelf along the Siple Trough, West Antarctica, is intermittently disrupted during short events of Winter Water deepening. Here we show, using mooring records, that these 5–10 days-long events reduced the heat transport toward the ice shelf cavity by 25% in the winter of 2016. The events coincide with strong easterly winds and polynya opening in the region, but the Winter Water deepening is controlled by non-local coastal Ekman downwelling rather than polynya-related surface fluxes. The thermocline depth anomalies are forced by Ekman downwelling at the northern coast of Siple Island and propagate to the ice front as a coastal trapped wave. During the events, the flow at depth does no longer continue along isobaths into the ice shelf cavity but aligns with the ice front.