T. W. fowler’s measurements of sea temperature and density from merchant ships off southern australia in 1896

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Abstract

In 1896 T. W. Fowler initiated a program of twice-daily measurements of sea-surface temperature and density from merchant ships in Australasian waters. Fowler’s temperatures and derived salinities south of Australia along ~35°S reveal now familiar oceanographic features: the Leeuwin Current; high-salinity waters in St. Vincent Gulf; and cold, low-salinity waters of the Southern Ocean. Fowler noted that the temperatures and densities along the ships’ passages decreased during 1896, and that they continued to do so over the next three years. This appears to have been associated with one of the largest El Niños of the past 150 years that weakened the Leeuwin Current and allowed the Subtropical Front to move closer to southern Western Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
Volume104
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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