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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-139
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-139
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Jan 2019

Research article | 17 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Characteristics of Water Masses in the Atlantic Ocean based on GLODAPv2 data

Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
  • Marine Biogeochemistry, Chemical Oceanography, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. The characteristics of the main water masses in the Atlantic Ocean are investigated and defined as Source Water Types (SWTs) from their formation area by six key properties based on the GLODAPv2 observational data. These include both conservative (potential temperature and salinity) and non-conservative (oxygen, silicate, phosphate and nitrate) variables. For this we divided the Atlantic Ocean into four vertical layers by distinct potential densities in the shallow and intermediate water column, and additionally by concentration of silicate in the deep waters. The SWTs in the upper/central water layer originates from subduction during winter and are defined as central waters, formed in four distinct areas; East North Atlantic Central water (ENACW), West North Atlantic Central Water (WNACW), East South Atlantic Central Water (ESACW) and West South Atlantic Central Water (WSACW). Below the upper/central layer the intermediate layer consist of three main SWTs; Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), Subarctic Intermediate Water (SAIW) and Mediterranean Overflow Water (MOW). The North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) is the dominating SWT in the deep and overflow layer, and is divided into upper and lower NADW based on the different origins and properties. The origin of both the upper and lower NADW is the Labrador Sea Water (LSW), the Iceland–Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW) and Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW). Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) is the only natural SWT in the bottom layer and this SWT is redefined as North East Atlantic Bottom Water (NEABW) in the north of equator due to the change of key properties, especial silicate. Similar with NADW, two additional SWTS, Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) and Weddell Sea Bottom Water (WSBW), are defined in the Weddell Sea in order to understand the origin of AABW. The definition of water masses in biogeochemical space is useful for, in particular, chemical and biological oceanography to understand the origin and mixing history of water samples.

Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
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