Dr. Xiaojun Yuan
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Xiaojun Yuan
This work is the continuation of a joint project with the Polar Research Institute of China to make measurements of the structure of the upper ocean in the northern Weddell Sea along the route taken by the PRI's antarctic supply vessel, R/V Xue Long. The observations, obtained from expendable instruments, complement existing hydrographic observations along various transects through the northwestern Weddell Sea region and data from moored current meter arrays in the Weddell-Scotia confluence zone. This effort builds upon a successful series of expendable bathythermographs and conductivity-temperature-depth probes obtained by the science party on board the R/V Xue Long for the past four years. The west-to-east transit of the Weddell Sea by the ship makes it possible to obtain a series of ocean soundings that are otherwise unobtainable. The information is particularly important because strong correlative links between the upper ocean temperature and salinity, the sea ice edge, and extra-polar climate features have been established. It has been shown that the Indian Ocean sector is an anomalous region with respect to connections between antarctic and lower latitude climatic features and indices. Here the Antarctic Circumpolar Current makes its closest approach to the continent and the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave is least well expressed in the existing data. The necessary instrumentation, both software and hardware, has been installed in the ship and an excellent working relationship with Chinese antarctic scientists has been developed.
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