Paleoceanographic proxy data indicate that the Agulhas leakage into the South Atlantic was dramatically reduced during glacial times. In our former papers, we suggested that this was due to a northward shift of the zero wind stress curl that, in turn, forced the retroflection to occur farther north, where the slant of the coastline relative to the north is steep. In the present paper, we propose that strong westerlies (0.4 Pa, implying a wind speed of ∼12 m s–1 at zero degrees centigrade), which were supposedly common during glaciations, can also arrest the leakage. This arrest occurred because the wind stress opposed the momentum flux associated with the retroflection; such an arrest did not require the retroflection to shift in latitude.
Jounral of Marine Research
Nof, Doron; Zharkov, Volodymyr; Ortiz, Joseph; Paldor, Nathan; Arruda, Wilton; Chassignet, E P (2011). The Arrested Agulhas Retroflection. Jounral of Marine Research 69(4-6) 659-691. doi: 10.1357/002224011799849453. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/geolpubs/31