A deep eastern boundary current carrying Indian deep water south of Australia

Tamsitt, V, Talley LD, Mazloff MR.  2019.  A deep eastern boundary current carrying Indian deep water south of Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 124:2218-2238.

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In the Southern Hemisphere, the ocean's deep waters are predominantly transported from low to high latitudes via boundary currents. In addition to the Deep Western Boundary Currents, pathways along the eastern boundaries of the southern Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific transport deep water poleward into the Southern Ocean where these waters upwell to the sea surface. These deep eastern boundary currents and their physical drivers are not well characterized, particularly those carrying carbon and nutrient-rich deep waters from the Indian and Pacific basins. Here we describe the poleward deep eastern boundary current that carries Indian Deep Water along the southern boundary of Australia to the Southern Ocean using a combination of hydrographic observations and Lagrangian experiments in an eddy-permitting ocean state estimate. We find strong evidence for a deep boundary current carrying the low-oxygen, carbon-rich signature of Indian Deep Water extending between 1,500 and 3,000 m along the Australian continental slope, from 30°S to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current southwest of Tasmania. From the Lagrangian particles it is estimated that this pathway transports approximately 5.8 ± 1.3 Sv southward from 30°S to the northern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The volume transport of this pathway is highly variable and is closely correlated with the overlying westward volume transport of the Flinders Current.