10 - OceanAtmosphere 19:06 DeepSeaCirculation:...

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Ocean Atmosphere 19:06 Deep Sea Circulation: ‘Thermohaline Circulation’ Deep   Circulation : It extends from about 1 km (0.5 miles) deep to the seafloor, so most of the  world ocean is part of the deep circulation at any one time Very slow compared to surface circulation It likely controls Earth’s climate over time scales thousands of years It is the hardest to study and one of the least understood components of the  world ocean system Deep water masses may be 600 to 1000 years old or more. Their age  represents the time that has passed since their formation and return to the  surface Water Masses : The waters that make up the deep circulation and their patterns of flow are  identified thru their temperature and salinity  A parcel of water with a distinct and narrow range of temperature and salinity  is called a water mass Specific T and S characteristics define water types; water types may mix to  produce a given water mass 5/6 Main categories of Water Masses Found in the World Ocean surface waters- waters that occur between the surface of the ocean and the  permanent thermocline/pycnocline Central water masses- water masses found at the surface in the central gyres 
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2011 for the course ITALIAN 1 taught by Professor Maria during the Spring '10 term at UCSB.

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10 - OceanAtmosphere 19:06 DeepSeaCirculation:...

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