Salinity changes along the upper limb of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation - art. no. L06609

Type Article
Date 2006-03
Language English
Author(s) Blanke Bruno1, Arhan Michel2, Speich Sabrina1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Bretagne Occidentale, Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, CNRS, UMR 6523,Lab Phys Oceans, Brest, France.
2 : Univ Bretagne Occidentale, IFREMER, Ctr Breast,Lab Phys Oceans, UMR 6523,CNRS, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Geophysical Research Letters ( GRL ) (0094-8276) (American Geophysical Union), 2006-03 , Vol. 33 , N. 6 , P. NIL_44-NIL_47
DOI 10.1029/2005GL024938
WOS© Times Cited 16
Keyword(s) Salinity, Atlantic deep convection zones, Upper limb, Thermohaline circulation, Ocean circulation model
Abstract Lagrangian analyses of a global ocean circulation model quantify the salinity changes experienced by the warm limb of the thermohaline circulation during the northward flow to the Atlantic deep convection regions. 6 Sv out of the estimated 10-Sv transfer from 45 degrees S to 47 degrees N flow through regions of prevailing surface evaporation: the southern and northern formation regions of Salinity Maximum Water and the Gulf of Cadiz/Mediterranean Sea domain. The remaining transport gains salinity through mixing with adjacent waters. As much as 6 Sv flow through the low-salinity surface mixed layer at the latitudes of the ITCZ whose effect annihilates that of the southern region of Salinity Maximum Water. Most of the salinity increase corresponds to the transformation of South to North Atlantic Central Water, with strong diapycnal transfers for the water that intersects the high and low salinity regions, and nearly isopycnal modifications for the water that avoids these regions.
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