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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-140
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-140
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Jan 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Jan 2019

Distribution of Water Masses in the Atlantic Ocean based on GLODAPv2

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

Abstract. The distribution of the main water masses in the Atlantic Ocean are investigated with the Optimal Multi-Parameter (OMP) method. The properties of the main water masses in the Atlantic Ocean are described in a companion article; here these definitions are used to map out the general distribution of those water masses. Six key properties, including conservative (potential temperature and salinity) and non-conservative (oxygen, silicate, phosphate and nitrate), are incorporated into the OMP analysis to determine the contribution of the water masses in the Atlantic Ocean based on the GLODAP v2 observational data. To facilitate the analysis the Atlantic Ocean is divided into four vertical layers based on potential density. Due to the high seasonal variability in the mixed layer, this layer is excluded from the analysis. Central waters are the main water masses in the upper/central layer, generally featuring high potential temperature and salinity and low nutrient concentrations and are easily distinguished from the intermediate water masses. In the intermediate layer, the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) from the south can be detected to ~30 °N, whereas the Subarctic Intermediate Water (SAIW), having similarly low salinity to the AAIW flows from the north. Mediterranean Overflow Water (MOW) flows from the Strait of Gibraltar as a high salinity water. NADW dominates the deep and overflow layer both in the North and South Atlantic. In the bottom layer, AABW is the only natural water mass with high silicate signature spreading from the Antarctic to the North Atlantic. Due to the change of water mass properties, in this work we renamed to North East Antarctic Bottom Water NEABW north of the equator. Similarly, the distributions of Labrador Sea Water (LSW), Iceland Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW), and Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW) forms upper and lower portion of NADW, respectively roughly south of the Grand Banks between ~50 and 66 °N. In the far south the distributions of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) and Weddell Sea Bottom Water (WSBW) are of significance to understand the formation of the AABW.

Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
Mian Liu and Toste Tanhua
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