The vertical structure of upper ocean variability at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain during 2012-2013

Damerell, Gillian, Heywood, Karen, Thompson, Andrew, Binetti, Umberto and Kaiser, Jan (2016) The vertical structure of upper ocean variability at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain during 2012-2013. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 121 (5). 3075–3089. ISSN 2169-9275

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Abstract

This study presents the characterization of variability in temperature, salinity and oxygen concentration, including the vertical structure of the variability, in the upper 1000m of the ocean over a full year in the northeast Atlantic. Continuously profiling ocean gliders with vertical resolution between 0.5-1m provide more information on temporal variability throughout the water column than time series from moorings with sensors at a limited number of fixed depths. The heat, salt and dissolved oxygen content are quantified at each depth. While the near surface heat content is consistent with the net surface heat flux, heat content of the deeper layers is driven by gyre-scale water mass changes. Below ~150m, heat and salt content display intraseasonal variability which has not been resolved by previous studies. A mode-1 baroclinic internal tide is detected as a peak in the power spectra of water mass properties. The depth of minimum variability is at ~415m for both temperature and salinity, but this is a depth of high variability for oxygen concentration. The deep variability is dominated by the intermittent appearance of Mediterranean Water, which shows evidence of filamentation. Susceptibility to salt fingering occurs throughout much of the water column for much of the year. Between about 700-900m, the water column is susceptible to diffusive layering, particularly when Mediterranean Water is present. This unique ability to resolve both high vertical and temporal resolution highlights the importance of intraseasonal variability in upper ocean heat and salt content, variations that may be aliased by traditional observing techniques.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 12:03
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 01:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/58208
DOI: 10.1002/2015JC011423

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