Weddell Sea shelf water in the Bransfield Strait and Weddell-Scotia Confluence Academic Article uri icon


  • The unusual stratification of the waters in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence between the Scotia and Weddell Seas and in the Bransfield Strait is traced to the influence of shelf waters from the northwest Weddell Sea. The shelf waters span the density range encompassed by the warm, salty Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, and the colder and slightly fresher CDW in the Weddell Sea. An isopycnal mixture of these three source waters flows eastward from the tip of the Antaractic Peninsula in to the Weddell-Scotia Confluence region, and westward north of the Peninsula, where it flows downslope to renew the deep waters of the Bransfield Strait. This mixing scheme can occur year-round, in contrast to some previous explanations of the stratification in the region, which relied on the (unobserved) winter convective overturn of the water column. © 1994.

author list (cited authors)

  • Whitworth, T., Nowlin, W. D., Orsi, A. H., Locarnini, R. A., & Smith, S. G.

citation count

  • 131

publication date

  • April 1994