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Accession Number ADA571725
Title Temperature Versus Salinity Gradients Below the Ocean Mixed Layer.
Publication Date May 2012
Media Count 20p
Personal Author A. B. Kara C. N. Barron J. G. Richman M. R. Carnes R. W. Helber
Abstract We characterize the global ocean seasonal variability of the temperature versus salinity gradients in the transition layer just below the mixed layer using observations of conductivity temperature and depth and profiling float data from the National Ocean Data Center s World Ocean Data set. The balance of these gradients determines the temperature versus salinity control at the mixed layer depth (MLD). We define the MLD as the shallowest of the isothermal, isohaline, and isopycnal layer depths (ITLD, IHLD, and IPLD), each with a shared dependence on a 0.2 deg C temperature offset. Data are gridded monthly using a variational technique that minimizes the squared analysis slope and data misfit. Surface layers of vertically uniform temperature, salinity, and density have substantially different characteristics. By examining differences between IPLD, ITLD, and IHLD, we determine the annual evolution of temperature or salinity or both temperature and salinity vertical gradients responsible for the observed MLD. We find ITLD determines MLD for 63% and IHLD for 14% of the global ocean. The remaining 23% of the ocean has both ITLD and IHLD nearly identical. It is found that temperature tends to control MLD where surface heat fluxes are large and precipitation is small. Conversely, salinity controls MLD where precipitation is large and surface heat fluxes are small. In the tropical ocean, salinity controls MLD where surface heat fluxes can be moderate but precipitation is very large and dominant.
Keywords Ctd(Conductivity temperature and depth)
Ihld(Isohaline layer depth)
Ipld(Isopycnal layer depth)
Itld(Isothermal layer depth)
Marine climatology
Mixed layer(Marine)
Mld(Mixed layer depth)
Nodc(National ocean data center)
Seasonal variations
Thermal conductivity
Transition layer
Wod(World ocean data)

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 47C - Physical & Chemical Oceanography
Corporate Author Naval Research Lab., Stennis Space Center, MS. Oceanography Div.
Document Type Journal article
Title Note Journal article.
NTIS Issue Number 1316
Contract Number N/A

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