The density–salinity relation of standard seawater
Abstract. The determination of salinity by means of electrical conductivity relies on stable salt proportions in the North Atlantic Ocean, because standard seawater, which is required for salinometer calibration, is produced from water of the North Atlantic. To verify the long-term stability of the standard seawater composition, it was proposed to perform measurements of the standard seawater density. Since the density is sensitive to all salt components, a density measurement can detect any change in the composition. A conversion of the density values to salinity can be performed by means of a density–salinity relation. To use such a relation with a target uncertainty in salinity comparable to that in salinity obtained from conductivity measurements, a density measurement with an uncertainty of 2 g m−3 is mandatory. We present a new density–salinity relation based on such accurate density measurements. The substitution measurement method used is described and density corrections for uniform isotopic and chemical compositions are reported. The comparison of densities calculated using the new relation with those calculated using the present reference equations of state TEOS-10 suggests that the density accuracy of TEOS-10 (as well as that of EOS-80) has been overestimated, as the accuracy of some of its underlying density measurements had been overestimated. The new density–salinity relation may be used to verify the stable composition of standard seawater by means of routine density measurements.