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Southern Ocean

Antarctic Circumpolar Current

Mean Dynamic Topography and mean geostrophic velocities in the Southern Ocean. (Credits CLS).

Antarctica is one of the most remote regions on Earth. Here, winds and waves are often of an intensity seldom equalled anywhere, and icebergs make these waters very treacherous places ships, which is why they are popularly known among sailors as the "roaring forties". Such severe ocean conditions have conspired to make the Antarctic Circumpolar Current one of the least studied of all. It is also unique in many ways, since it is the only current not bounded by a continent, thus allowing water to flow between oceans.

Sea Level Anomialies in the Southern Ocean. Click on the image to launch the animation with one map per month over 2008 (days are givne in julian days).

 Further information :

  • V. Zlotnicki et al., OST/ST 2008 meeting: Altimeter data and ECCO2 ocean state estimates to study Antarctic Circumpolar Current Fronts and formation of Antarctic Intermediate Water. pdf.
  • Lively data, April 21, 2006 : Circumpolar velocities
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