Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-58
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-58
28 Jul 2017
 | 28 Jul 2017
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal OS. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

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

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. ‎

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Hadar Berman, Nathan Paldor, and Boaz Lazar
 
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Hadar Berman, Nathan Paldor, and Boaz Lazar
Hadar Berman, Nathan Paldor, and Boaz Lazar

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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.