Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 56 (No. 1), pp. 1-16, 2000
Harold Solomon1*, Kaoru Ushida2 and Takashi Suzuki2
1Institute of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University,
3-20-1, Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan
2Department of Oceanography, Tokai University, 3-20-1, Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan
(Received 12 July 1996; in revised form 24 December 1998; accepted 3 February 1999)
Abstract: Six years of quasi-meridional crossings of the Antarctic Ocean from Antarctica to southern Africa between 4°W and 16°E longitude are analyzed, with emphasis on temperature and salinity distributions. Data are sparse, but (particularly in the southern part of the sections) adequate to show significant variations in the latitude/depth distributions and T-S characteristics of the principal water masses. In particular, the cross-sectional area occupied by Warm Deep Water(Weddell Deep Water) dropped by about one third in 1968. Positions of major features associated with the Antarctic Divergence varied by up to 5 degrees of latitude. The surface temperature gradient often observed at the Antarctic Divergence appears to be the surface expression of a shallow (possibly seasonal) thermocline which sometimes slopes upward to intersect the sea surface. There is a clear need for more closely spaced and consistently planned data from Antarctic cruises, particularly those on which physical oceanography is an ancillary activity. As a bare minimum, much more closely spaced surface temperature (and if possible also salinity) measurements would be useful.