Deep and Bottom Water of the Weddell Sea's Western Rim

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5130, pp. 95-97
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5130.95


Oceanographic observations from the Ice Station Weddell 1 show that the western rim of the Weddell Gyre contributes to Weddell Sea Bottom Water. A thin (< 300 meters), highly oxygenated benthic layer is composed of a low-salinity type of bottom water overlying a high-salinity component. This complex layering disappears near 66°S because of vertical mixing and further inflow from the continental margin. The bottom water flowing out of the western rim is a blend of the two types. Additionally, the data show that a narrow band of warmer Weddell Deep Water hugged the continental margin as it flowed into the western rim, providing the continental margin with the salt required for bottom-water production.