Observing the Antarctic Slope Undercurrent using ocean gliders.
Physical processes on the continental shelf and slope around Antarctica are crucially important for determining future sea level rise, for setting the properties and volume of dense bottom water exported globally, and for regulating the carbon cycle. Yet our ability to model and predict these processes over future decades is still rudimentary. This lack of understanding originates from a paucity of observations in this inaccessible region. This PhD is part of the ERC-funded COMPASS project, in which we will use new technology – autonomous underwater vehicles called gliders – to observe and understand processes on the Antarctic shelf and slope.
The boundary between shelf waters and those offshore is marked by the Antarctic Slope Front, associated with a westward surface current. Beneath this, an eastward undercurrent, located on the continental slope, has been revealed by the limited observations in this region. The dynamics of the undercurrent are hypothesised though not yet demonstrated. It is believed to be almost circumpolar, and may play an important role in bringing warm water onto the continental shelf.
For more information and to apply, please go to FindaPhD.com