Billany, W., Swart S., Hermes, J., Reason, C.
Abstract

Maps of Absolute Dynamic Topography (MADT) at the Greenwich Meridian are used to identify the locations and gradients of the various fronts in the Southern Ocean (Subtropical Front, Sub-Antarctic Front, Antarctic Polar Front, Southern ACC Front, and Southern Boundary of the ACC). It is found that the frontal gradients in Sea Surface Height (SSH) used to determine these fronts are consistent with those determined from hydrographic data. A strong relationship was found to exist between the position of all the fronts and the gradients of SSH except for the Southern Boundary (SBdy) front. Substantial seasonality and interannual variability in the frontal positions is found. All the fronts except the Antarctic Polar Front (APF) show a poleward tendency in position over the last 15-years. Using the MADT-derived frontal positions, the meridional zones between the fronts are examined and the mean zonal sea surface temperature (SST) is used to consider the surface variability in these frontal zones. In addition to the strong seasonality and interannual variability in the SST of these frontal zones, there is also a tendency towards warming (cooling) of the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Polar Zones (Southern Boundary Zone). The tendencies in the frontal positions are consistent with a warming in the Southern Ocean except near the APF and the Southern ACC Front (SACCF).

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Collection of Hovmöller plots of the surface geostrophic velocity magnitudes (colour surface plot; in ms− 1) and latitudinal frontal positions of the ACC (black lines) at the Greenwich Meridian from January 1993 to December 2007. (a) STF, (b) SAF, (c) APF, (d) SACCF, (e) SBdy.

Collection of Hovmöller plots of the surface geostrophic velocity magnitudes (colour surface plot; in ms− 1) and latitudinal frontal positions of the ACC (black lines) at the Greenwich Meridian from January 1993 to December 2007. (a) STF, (b) SAF, (c) APF, (d) SACCF, (e) SBdy.

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