Water masses in the Bransfield Strait and adjacent seas, austral summer 2013

Wilma Gertrud Charlotte Huneke*, Oliver Huhn, Michael Schröeder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The Bransfield Strait is a semi-enclosed sea located in the northern part of the West Antarctic Peninsula region, which is subject to strong climatic changes. The bathymetry is complex and comprises three basins that are separated from each other by shallow sills. Oceanographic measurements of the Bransfield Strait region are available since the first half of the twentieth century. In this study, hydrographic data from the ANT-XXIX/3 expedition of RV Polarstern in 2013 are presented to describe the actual physical state of the art, particularly for biological work done during that cruise. The general hydrographic situation of the Bransfield Strait in 2013 is found to be similar to observations from the early twentieth century. The Bransfield Strait’s water masses are modified versions of the water masses from the adjacent seas. The different water masses within the Bransfield Strait are separated by two fronts, the so-called Bransfield and Peninsula Front. While the Bransfield Front is most pronounced in the central and southwestern Bransfield Strait, the Peninsula Front can be identified from the northeastern to the central part of the study domain. Based on an analysis of water mass properties around the Antarctic Peninsula and close to the Antarctic Sound, a notable inflow of Shelf Water from the Weddell Sea through the Antarctic Sound appears unlikely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-798
Number of pages10
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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