Eddies and mean flow in the antarctic circumpolar current

Sarah T. Gille, Shane Elipot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Satellite altimeters measure variability of geostrophic currents but not the time-mean geostrophic velocity (and therefore not the total absolute geostrophic flow). This poses challenges in the Southern Ocean, because the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is a top-to-bottom feature, with non-zero bottom velocities, and hydrographic estimates of absolute dynamic topography are unable to capture the effects of the bottom velocities. Since the advent of exact repeat altimetry, a variety of different methods have been tested. Methods based on independent gravity estimates are successful at capturing large-scale features but do not appear to represent small-scale variations in mean dynamic topography. The choice of mean has implications for interpretation of the large-scale flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Symposium on 15 years of Progress in Radar Altimetry
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventSymposium on 15 years of Progress in Radar Altimetry - Venice, Italy
Duration: Mar 13 2006Mar 18 2006

Publication series

NameEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
ISSN (Print)0379-6566


ConferenceSymposium on 15 years of Progress in Radar Altimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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