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Title: High Salinity Shelf Water production rates in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea from high-resolution salinity observations

High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) formed in the Ross Sea of Antarctica is a precursor to Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), a water mass that constitutes the bottom limb of the global overturning circulation. HSSW production rates are poorly constrained, as in-situ observations are scarce. Here, we present high-vertical-and-temporal-resolution salinity time series collected in austral winter 2017 from a mooring in Terra Nova Bay (TNB), one of two major sites of HSSW production in the Ross Sea. We calculate an annual-average HSSW production rate of ~0.4Sv(106m3s−1), which we use to ground truth additional estimates across 2012–2021 made from parametrized net surface heat fluxes. We find sub-seasonal and interannual variability on the order of$$0.1$$0.1$${Sv}$$Sv, with a strong dependence on variability in open-water area that suggests a sensitivity of TNB HSSW production rates to changes in the local wind regime and offshore sea ice pack.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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