Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Marine Science

Major Professor

Don P. Chambers


Antarctic Circumpolar Current, GRACE, Ocean Bottom Pressure, Ocean Transport, Southern Ocean


Previous studies have suggested that ocean bottom pressure (OBP) can be used to measure the transport variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The OBP observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) are used to calculate transport along the choke point between Antarctica and Australia. Statistical analysis will be conducted to determine the uncertainty of the GRACE observations using a simulated data set.

There has been some evidence to suggest that Southern Hemisphere winds and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) or the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) play a significant role in accelerating/decelerating ACC transport, along with some contribution from buoyancy forcing. We will examine whether average zonal wind stress, wind stress curl, local zonal winds, or the SAM are representative of the low frequency zonal mass transport variability.

Preliminary studies suggest that seasonal variation in transport across the Australia-Antarctica choke point is driven by winds along and north of the northern front of the ACC, the Sub Tropical front (STF). It also appears that interannual variations in transport are related to wind variations centered south of the Sub Antarctic Front (SAF). We have observed a strong negative correlation/positive correlation across the STF of the ACC in the Indian Ocean, which suggests wind stress curl may also be responsible for transport variations.

Included in

Oceanography Commons