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Subtropical front

About: Subtropical front is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 533 publications have been published within this topic receiving 26021 citations.


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Journal ArticleDOI
01 May 1995
TL;DR: In this article, large-scale features of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) were described using all historical hydrographic data available from the Southern Ocean, and the geopotential anomaly of the sea surface relative to 1000 db reveals the highly-sheared eastward flow of the ACC and the strong steering of the current by the ridge system around Antarctica.
Abstract: Large-scale features of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) are described using all historical hydrographic data available from the Southern Ocean. The geopotential anomaly of the sea surface relative to 1000 db reveals the highly-sheared eastward flow of the ACC and the strong steering of the current by the ridge system around Antarctica. The near-surface property distributions differentiate the ACC waters from the warmer and saltier waters of the subtropical regimes. The Subtropical Front (STF), interrupted only by South America, marks the northern most extent of subantarctic waters. Distributions of properties on isopycnal surfaces show an abrupt end to the characteristic signal of the Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW), as this water mass shoals southward and is entrained into the surface mixed layer. This sharp water mass boundary nearly coincides with the southernmost circumpolar streamline passing through Drake Passage. To its south are the weakly-sheared circulations of the subpolar regime. Inspection of many hydrographic crossings of this transition reveals that the poleward edge of the UCD W signal is a reasonable definition of the southern boundary of the ACC. At Drake Passage, three deep-reaching fronts account for most of the ACC transport. Well-established indicators of the Subantarctic Front and Polar Front are traced unbroken around Antarctica. The third deep-reaching front observed to the south of the Polar Front at Drake Passage also continues with similar characteristics as a circumpolar feature. It is called here the southern ACC front. Stations from multiple synoptic transects of these circumpolar fronts are used to describe the average property structure within each ACC zone. Between the STF and the southern boundary of the ACC, the shear transport of the circumpolar current above 3000 m is at all longitudes about 100 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−) eastward.

2,513 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the evolution of main fronts between 0° and 150°E was analyzed to investigate the main fronts in the central South Atlantic, where the central south Atlantic is featured by the Subtropical Frontal Zone (STFZ), bordered by the North and South Subtropicals Fronts (NSTF and SSTF, respectively), and by the Polar Frontal Zones (PFZ), with the Subantarctic and Polar Fronts(SAF and PF, respectively).
Abstract: All available meridional sections have been analyzed to investigate the evolution of main fronts between 0° and 150°E. The central South Atlantic is featured by the Subtropical Frontal Zone (STFZ), bordered by the North and South Subtropical Fronts (NSTF and SSTF, respectively), and by the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ), bordered by the Subantarctic and Polar Fronts (SAF and PF, respectively). This structure becomes more complex in the African sector as the Agulhas Retroflection and the bottom topography force a more convoluted pattern. The Retroflection and associated Agulhas Front (AF) press the SSTF from 38° to 42°–43°S. Strong interactions of the AF, SSTF, and SAF with topography shift the fronts but do not obliterate them. The AF can be traced reliably up to 52°E, sometimes up to 75°E. The SAF is deflected from 45° to 43°S by the Mid-Ocean Ridge and converges with the SSTF north of the Prince Edward Islands to form a combined SSTF/SAF. This front intensifies east of 50°–52°E as a result of the confluence with the AF, and between 52° and 65°E a triple AF/SSTF/SAF (“the Crozet Front”) is observed. The PF continues along 49° and 50°S between the Crozet Plateau and the Ob-Lena (Conrad) Rise, passing north of Kerguelen, nearly joining the triple Crozet Front. Downstream of the Kerguelen-Amsterdam Passage, the canonical structure is being restored (SSTF, SAF, PF); however, the front parameters in the Australian sector are different from the African sector, largely because of strong air-sea interaction and cross-frontal exchanges in the Crozet-Kerguelen region. The SSTF, squeezed between the AF and SAF, loses characteristics to both. The SSTF/SAF interaction results in the Australian SAF being warmer and saltier downstream, while the SSTF becomes shallower and weaker. The Australian STF derives its characteristics mostly from the AF, thus bringing the modified Agulhas waters to the Pacific Ocean. The newly defined North Subtropical Front (NSTF) was distinguished in the Indian Ocean between 31° and 38°S. The front marks the southern boundary of the subtropical salty, warm water pool of the central South Indian Ocean. The NSTF location is coincident with the position of the wind convergence between westerlies and easterlies, suggesting the possible wind-driven frontogenesis.

715 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the mechanics of the lower tropospheric subtropical circulation were explored through the use of a primitive equation model and comparison with observations, and it was demonstrated that a local diabatic enhancement can lead to a strengthening of the descent.
Abstract: The summer subtropical circulation in the lower troposphere is characterized by continental monsoon rains and anticyclones over the oceans. In winter, the subtropical circulation is more strongly dominated by the zonally averaged flow and its interactions with orography. Here, the mechanics of the summer and winter lowertropospheric subtropical circulation are explored through the use of a primitive equation model and comparison with observations. By prescribing in the model the heatings associated with several of the world’s monsoons, it is confirmed that the equatorward portion of each subtropical anticyclone may be viewed as the Kelvin wave response to the monsoon heating over the continent to the west. A poleward-flowing low-level jet into a monsoon (such as the Great Plains jet) is required for Sverdrup vorticity balance. This jet effectively closes off the subtropical anticyclone to the east and also transports moisture into the monsoon region. The low-level jet into North America induced by its monsoon heating is augmented by a remote response to the Asian monsoon heating. The Rossby wave response to the west of subtropical monsoon heating, interacting with the midlatitude westerlies, produces a region of adiabatic descent. It is demonstrated here that a local ‘‘diabatic enhancement’’ can lead to a strengthening of the descent. Longitudinal mountain chains act to block the westerly flow and also tend to produce descent in this region. Below the descent, Sverdrup vorticity balance implies equatorward flow that closes off the subtropical anticyclone to the west and induces cool upwelling in the ocean through Ekman transport. Feedbacks, involving, for example, sea surface temperatures, may further enhance the descent in these regions. The conclusion is that the Mediterranean-type climates of regions such as California and Chile may be induced remotely by the monsoon to the east. Hence it can be argued that the subtropical circulation in summer comprises a set of weakly interacting monsoon systems, each involving monsoon rains, a low-level poleward jet, a subtropical anticyclone to the east, and descent and equatorward flow to the west. In winter, it is demonstrated how the nonlinear interaction between the strong zonal-mean circulation, associated with the winter ‘‘Hadley cell,’’ and the mountains can define many of the large-scale features of the subtropical circulation. The blocking effect of the longitudinal mountain chains is shown to be very important. Subsequent diabatic effects, such as a local diabatic enhancement, would appear to be essential for producing the observed amplitude of these features.

660 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, Wang et al. showed that atmospheric heating induced by the rising surface temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) can enhance East Asian subtropical frontal rainfall, and the mechanism of the linkage was found to be through two distinct Rossby wave trains and the isentropic uplift to the east of the TP.
Abstract: [1] Observational evidence presented here indicates that the surface temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) have increased by about 1.8°C over the past 50 years. The precipitation pattern that is projected as a result of this warming resembles the leading pattern of precipitation variations in East Asia (EA). Numerical experiments with atmospheric general circulation models show that atmospheric heating induced by the rising TP temperatures can enhance East Asian subtropical frontal rainfall. The mechanism of the linkage is found to be through two distinct Rossby wave trains and the isentropic uplift to the east of the TP, which deform the western Pacific Subtropical High and enhance moisture convergence toward the EA subtropical front. The model calculations suggest that the past changes in TP temperatures and EA summer rainfall may be linked, and that projected future increases in TP temperatures may lead to further enhanced summer frontal rainfall in EA region.

575 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) defined as the main salinity minimum in the subtropical North Pacific is examined with respect to its overall property distributions in this article.
Abstract: The North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW), defined as the main salinity minimum in the subtropical North Pacific, is examined with respect to its overall property distributions. These suggest that NPIW is formed only in the northwestern subtropical gyre; that is, in the mixed water region between the Kuroshio Extension and Oyashio front. Subsequent modification along its advective path increases its salinity and reduces its oxygen. The mixed water region is studied using all bottle data available from the National Oceanographic Data Center, with particular emphasis on several winters. Waters from the Oyashio, Kuroshio, and the Tsugaru Warm Current influence the mixed water region, with a well-defined local surface water mass formed as a mixture of the surface waters from these three sources. Significant salinity minima in the mixed water region are grouped into those that are directly related to the winter surface density and are found at the base of the oxygen-saturated surface layer, and thos...

541 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
20234
202212
202123
202014
201914
201816