09 Jul 2021

09 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Characterization of the Atlantic Water and Levantine Intermediate Water in the Mediterranean Sea using Argo Float Data

Giusy Fedele, Elena Mauri, Giulio Notarstefano, and Pierre Marie Poulain Giusy Fedele et al.
  • National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, OGS, 34010 Sgonico (TS), Italy

Abstract. The Atlantic Water (AW) and Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) are important water masses that play a crucial role in the internal variability of the Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. In particular, their variability and interaction, along with other water masses that characterize the Mediterranean basin, such as the Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW), contribute to modify the Mediterranean Outflow through the Gibraltar Strait and hence may influence the stability of the global thermohaline circulation.

This work aims to characterize the AW and LIW in the Mediterranean Sea, taking advantage of the large observational dataset provided by Argo floats from 2001 to 2019. Using different diagnostics, the AW and LIW were identified, highlighting the inter-basin variability and the strong zonal gradient that characterize the two water masses in this marginal sea. Their temporal variability was also investigated focusing on trends and spectral features which constitute an important starting point to understand the mechanisms that are behind their variability. A clear salinification and warming trend have characterized the AW and LIW in the last two decades (~0.007 and 0.008 yr−1; 0.018 and 0.007 °C yr−1, respectively). The salinity and temperature trends found at subbasin scale are in good agreement with previous results. The strongest trends are found in the Adriatic basin in both the AW and LIW properties. A subbasin dependent spectral variability emerges in the AW and LIW salinity timeseries with peaks between 2 and 10 years.

Giusy Fedele et al.

Status: open (until 03 Sep 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on os-2021-68', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Jul 2021 reply

Giusy Fedele et al.

Giusy Fedele et al.


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Short summary
The Mediterranean Sea is a region of the globe where the effects of global warming are enhanced compared to other regions. Since the ocean plays a crucial role in the climate system, we investigate the properties and variabilities of the main water masses over this basin, highlighting an increase in their temperatures and salinities from the surface to about 700 meters depths.