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Salinity and Density

by: Jeanne Arnson-Serotta

Salinity and Density MSC 101

Marketplace > MSC 101 > Salinity and Density
Jeanne Arnson-Serotta
Survey of Oceanography
John Van Leer

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Survey of Oceanography
John Van Leer
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jeanne Arnson-Serotta on Sunday October 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MSC 101 at a university taught by John Van Leer in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 22 views.

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Date Created: 10/18/15
92415 Salinity and Density In midlatitudes temperatures are typically highest near the surface with a rapid transition to colder temperature called a thermocline The salinity similarly goes through a rapid near surface change with depth is called Haloclimb A Temperature Salinity diagram is a handy way to look at oceanographic data including their density variations When mixing occurs between two water types A and B the resulting mixtures are on a straight line between them In this case at higher density The constant sigma T lines are almost close to vertical which means you can t change the density very much without changing the temperature In high latitudes density is very influenced by salinity and not very influenced by temperature Lower density tropical surface water floats atop the denser waters below while very dense waters conditioned in polar latitudes may sink to the bottom and spread towards the equator along the bottom Seasonal changes in temperature stratification occur in mid latitudes as seen below In winter cold winds cool the surface water until it is dense than the water below so it sinks convectively overturning the near surface water to create a deep cold well mixed layer In spring more solar heating creates a shallow thermocline which floats on the colder winter mixed layer and becomes more intense in late summer Fall cooling begins the convective deepening again If you39re an organism that lives about 40m your spring is really in the fall because it takes so long for all the heat to get down there Temperature distribution in a Norwegian oyster basin which remains stable as it heats up due to a more saline bottom layer Oysters need about 26 degrees C to begin reproduction A bubble to buoyant fluid rises in a colder environment like a thunderstorm in the tropics As it rises additional water vapor condenses releasing more latent heat The turbulence in its wake would be rough to fly through which is why pilots fly around thunderstorm Annual changes in temperature stratification near Bermuda A deep mixed layer near 18 degrees C forms in February A maximum summer temperature of more than 27 degrees C forms in late August and early September at the peak of the Hurricane season The seasonal cycle of thermocline formation and mixing shown for a location in the Pacific Ocean Note the maximum summer temperature is less than half of that seen in Bermuda 0 Heating of a diurnal mixed layer during the day The surface is radiationally cooled off at night leading to shallow convective mixing If the ocean is stratified in density and you take a parcel of fluid and pull it to greater depth it is surrounded by less dense fluid and it wants to get back to its floating position It tends to overshoot and ends up higher and what happens is a natural oscillation internal waves 0 The stronger the density stratification the greater is the restoring force of a displaced parcel of water 0 Like a spring the stiffer it is the more rapid the oscillations will be when it is stretched and released The restoring force in the stratification allows internal waves to propagate along a thermocline surface much as surface gravity waves propagate on the ocean s surface A shearing motion between two layers of different densities can produce internal waves If the shear is strong enough the waves can break mixing the fluids at their interface The same internal waves and mixing occur in the ocean but it is more difficult to see In this example dye was injected along the density interface to observe the motion Bottom layer has been dyed with a dark color and originally had two layers in it Tilt the tank and the heavy layer wants to run downhill and the light layer wants to go uphill and they separate and makes the breaking points on the interface Other kinds of convection that go on on the surface of the ocean 0 Lines of convergence formed by wind stressed The overturning motions are called Langmuir cells 0 Wind blowing on surface causing a divergence and overturning from one line and a sinking convergence on another and between those it is upwelling the fluid 0 Floating seaweed along this line can help you see the motion Temperature at maximum density is 398 and once you go Looked at the bottom of Lake Superior to look for these langelier cells on the bottom Found were furrow patterns that were suggestive of bottom circulaton cells o If you have Helical Flow Patterns on the bottom with counterroation I Loose sediment sand is brought together at convergence line and will form quotsand ribbon A persistent eddy domes the thermocline making bottom water formation easier a Thin layer between surface water and deeper water Once surface water gets dense enough to sink you get these descending dense water chimneys similar to a thunderstorm underwater in the Mediterranean Sea 0 Stippled areas show downward sinking velocities o This cold water sinks to the bottom of the Mediterranean and there is a mixed layer that goes all the way down Salinity structure is now mixed away and you now have a vertical column of homogenous water 0 This dense water that forms at the bottom of the sea flows out through the Strait of Gibraltar then sinks down the continental slope Water is so dense that it flows over the Sill of the Strait like an underwater waterfall t mixes when it comes down and settles at a depth of about 1000m and that s until that density becomes the same as the Atlantic 0 Downslope flow induces turbulent entrainment both through bottom friction and vertical shear induced mixing 0 High salinity Mediterranean water spreads across the entire North Atlantic Near the Bahamas the layer is only about 10m Other water masses sink at different latitudes and locations attaining depths according to their densities Almost all formed at the surface Fjords have low salinity at the surface due to glacial or iceberg melt water andor river runoff High salinity at the bottom comes from inflow from the open sea Isolated bottom waters can also become OZ free and H2S rich as seen on the right side of the lowest panel Under the salty Mediterranean outflow a curious stair step pattern appears in temperature profiles with little mixed layers separated by little thermoclines Salt Fingers


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