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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-58
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
Quantifying thermohaline circulations: seawater isotopic compositions and salinity as proxies of the ratio between advection time and evaporation time
Hadar Berman, Nathan Paldor, and Boaz Lazar The Fredy and Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Abstract. Uncertainties in quantitative estimates of the thermohaline circulation in any particular basin are ‎large, partly due to large uncertainties in quantifying excess evaporation over precipitation and ‎surface velocities. A single nondimensional parameter, ‎γ ≡ qhxu is proposed to characterize the ‎‎strength of the thermohaline circulation by combining the physical parameters of surface ‎velocity (u), evaporation rate (q), mixed layer depth (h) and trajectory length (x). Values of γ can ‎be estimated directly from cross-sections of salinity or seawater isotopic composition (δ18O and δD). Estimates of ‎γ in the Red Sea and the South-West Indian Ocean are 0.1 and 0.02, ‎respectively, which implies that the thermohaline contribution to the circulation in the former is ‎higher than in the latter. Once the value of ‎γ has been determined in a particular basin, either q ‎or u can be estimated from known values of the remaining parameters. In the studied basins ‎such estimates are consistent with previous studies. ‎

Citation: Berman, H., Paldor, N., and Lazar, B.: Quantifying thermohaline circulations: seawater isotopic compositions and salinity as proxies of the ratio between advection time and evaporation time, Ocean Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-58, in review, 2017.
Hadar Berman et al.
Hadar Berman et al.
Hadar Berman et al.

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Short summary
The paper develops a new non-dimensional parameter that quantifies the degree to which the surface flow in a given area is thermohaline. The proposed parameter can be easily estimated from cross sections of either salinity or isotopes of oxygen or hydrogen. The parameter was estimated from publicly available data in two areas and in both it has yielded estimates of the rates of evaporation that are consistent with previous detailed observational studies.
The paper develops a new non-dimensional parameter that quantifies the degree to which the...
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