Data Trawler - Project details

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Project details

Title: SWOT-ACC: smaller scales of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in a meander south of Tasmania
Id: 2608
Investigator(s): Benoit Legressy
CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere - Hobart [details]

Years: 2023

List of surveys that this project was on.

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Survey InvestigatorDescription

Legresy, Benoit (CSIRO O&A) SWOT-ACC aims to significantly improve our capability to observe and understand the impact of small-scale (10-100 km) motions on dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The novel Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission will provide, for the first time, measurements of sea surface height along a broad swath, with spatial resolution at least 10X better than traditional altimeters. While SWOT will provide unprecedented spatial and temporal coverage, in situ subsurface ocean measurements are essential to validate the satellite observations and to determine the relationship between small-scale variability in sea surface height and subsurface ocean circulation and dynamics. SWOT-ACC will collect multidisciplinary measurements along a swath crossing a standing meander of the ACC. The meander is a hot spot of eddy activity, cross-front exchange, and energetic small-scale motions. The experiment aims to characterise the small-scale variability in the meander; to relate small-scale variability in sea surface height to subsurface ocean structure; to quantify the role of small-scale processes in facilitating transport of heat and carbon between the surface ocean and the interior, and across the ACC; and to investigate the coupling between physical, biogeochemical, and biological processes at small spatial and temporal scales. By providing essential in situ validation data from a high energy environment, SWOT-ACC will enable application of this revolutionary instrument to other high energy environments, including western boundary currents and the circumpolar ACC. SWOT-ACC will underpin improved climate projections and ocean forecasts by delivering knowledge needed to improve the representation of the influence of small-scale motions on large-scale dynamics. Research users to benefit from the experiment include space agencies, climate modellers and users of climate projections, and users of ocean forecasts (e.g. defence, search & rescue, shipping, and managers of marine resources).
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