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Antarctic Intermediate Water variability in the northern New Zealand region
Stanton, B.R. (2002). Antarctic Intermediate Water variability in the northern New Zealand region. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 645-654
In: New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Royal Society of New Zealand: Wellington. ISSN 0028-8330, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Stanton, B.R.

    In the region between 30°S and northern New Zealand, vertical salinity profiles through the core of the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) show a high degree of spatial and temporal variability, and this variability is much larger than that found in nearby ocean areas. Characteristic features are interleaving of salinity layers and large changes in the salinity minimum between adjacent stations. Quantifying the changes through the calculation of an intrusion index highlights the degree of variability and the importance of boundary mixing along the New Zealand slope. However, the main cause of the variability is the meeting and mixing of higher salinity AAIW, arriving from the north-west (having travelled around the subtropical gyre) with lower salinity AAIW arriving by more direct entry from the north-east. These waters meet in the region through the action of the meso-scale eddy field. Present data indicate that where strong salinity interleaving occurs, the length scales are of the order of 10 km and the time scales are of the order of a few days. Resolution of the processes at work will require studies on finer scales than presently available.

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