The Impact of the Seasonality of Surface Air-Ice-Sea Fluxes on Warm Water Pathway Toward the Filchner Ronne Ice Shelf

Lucie Vignes, Sorbonne Universite - LOCEAN, Paris, France and Jean-baptiste Sallee, LOCEAN-IPSL, CNRS/IRD/MNHN/Sorbonne Université, Paris, France
Abstract:
The observed thinning of many ice shelves surrounding Antarctica is linked to ocean heat fluxes, but the dynamics governing the flow of warm waters towards the ice shelf ice shelves are poorly known. The Weddell Sea continental shelf is an underdocumented area of the world : the area is totally covered by sea-ice during austral winter precluding to sample the seasonal cycle. The study of this seasonal cycle is fondamental in the understanding of the dynamics of the area, especially considering the study of the warm water circulation.


In this context, seven autonomous drifting and profiling floats have been deployed for the first time in the Southern Weddell Sea continental shelf. They allow an all-year-long sampling along their deriving paths. Some of them sampled the two main warm pathways of water all year long and at high vertical resolution, and allowed to complement an historical database helping us to understand the impact of seasonality on the warm water circulation and their impact of the Filchner Ronne Ice Shelf.