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Modification of North Atlantic Deep Water by Pacific/Upper Circumpolar Deep Water in the Argentine Basin
  • Sawyer V. S. Brand,
  • Channing J. Prend,
  • Lynne D. Talley
Sawyer V. S. Brand
University of Rhode Island

Corresponding Author:svbrand@uri.edu

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Channing J. Prend
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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Lynne D. Talley
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Much of the salty, high oxygen North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) leaving the Atlantic flows through the Argentine Basin, where it is diluted by fresher, low oxygen Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). This mixing of deep water masses is often overlooked in the zonally-averaged description of the overturning circulation. Here, we show that most of the mixing occurs along the western boundary: (i) extreme, isolated oxygen/temperature anomalies recorded by three autonomous biogeochemical floats suggest that subsurface eddies can inject relatively unmodified CDW far into the northwestern Argentine Basin, and (ii) moderate, numerous temperature/salinity anomalies indicate a mixing zone from Rio Grande Rise to the Malvinas Current. This western eddy pathway shortcuts the gyre-scale cyclonic route for CDW inferred from previous studies. Significantly, CDW dilution of NADW affects the properties of deep waters that upwell in the Southern Ocean, and hence the connection between Northern and Southern Hemisphere polar climates.