16Oceans

16Oceans - ESM 203: Ocean Processes and Circulation Jeff...

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ESM 203: Ocean Processes and ESM 203: Ocean Processes and Circulation Circulation Fall 2007
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2 What is sea water? What is sea water? Sea water is 96½% pure water Remaining 3½% is other materials Dissolved salts, gases and organic substances, as well as particles Physical properties are mainly related to the pure water, along with the dissolved salts Water mass characteristics Salinity, temperature, nutrients, oxygen Key property (for circulation) is sea water density Variability in vertical – inhibit or enhance mixing Variability in horizontal – drive currents
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Sea water density Sea water density A function salinity, pressure, and temperature Ranges from about 1020 to 1040 kg m –3 Oceanographers use the sigma-T description 3 ( 29 ( 29 , f , , 0 1000 ranges from 20 to 40 σ = = - t S T S T P
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4 Temperature Temperature Temperature generally decreases with depth in the ocean Changes in temperature generally regulate changes in density except where ice is formed (which increases salinity) Rule of thumb: 3 3 kg m 0.2 deg i.e. 1 kg m for 5 C ρ - - - + = - o T T
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5 Temperature in the Equatorial Pacific Temperature in the Equatorial Pacific Equatorial Pacific - WOCE150W
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6 Temperature in the Southern Ocean Temperature in the Southern Ocean 60S - WOCE150W
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7 Salinity Salinity Ocean waters are salty The “salts” (Cl , SO 4 –2 , Na + , K + , etc) are in approximately constant proportions Residence time is huge To practically estimate salinity, we measure just one ion, Cl mass "salts" Salinity mass sea water f
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8 Salinity Salinity Salinity varies from 32 to 37 psu (practical salinity units, ~ parts per thousand) Good water mass tracer Lower/higher values are unusual (river input, high evaporation, sea ice formation) Rule of thumb: 3 kg m 1 psu S ρ - +
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16Oceans - ESM 203: Ocean Processes and Circulation Jeff...

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