Cross-Shelf Exchanges in the South African EBC/WBC System: Model Analysis
Event: 2020 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting (virtual)
Session: Science II: Large Scale Ocean Circulation Variability and Change
Presentation type: Type Forum only
Contribution: PDF file
This presentation is supported by a NASA research project that aims to define the circulation over South African continental shelves and the exchanges between those shelves and the adjacent deep ocean. In a separate presentation Strub et al will describe the main component of this project, which involves the characterization of the shelf/deep-ocean interactions through the use satellite data. This presentation, which focuses on the modeling component of the project, uses a high resolution nested model to characterize the impact of the Agulhas Current on the Agulhas Bank. We show that shelf/deep-ocean exchanges in this region are controlled by the downstream propagation of Agulhas eddies, which draw deep ocean waters onto the Agulhas Bank. These waters are then transported westward, into the Benguela upwelling region, thus connecting the western and eastern shelves of the South African region. We argue that shelf/deep-ocean interactions are not only consequential for the shelf region but also for the deep-ocean, where they energize upwelling and mixing.