Skip to main content

Free Content Solar warming of near-bottom water over a fringing reef

Download Article:
(PDF 4010.0556640625 kb)
The Kilo Nalu Observatory is located on the foreslope of a fringing reef on the south shore of Oahu, Hawaii. A cabled node at 12-m depth has enabled continuous real-time temperature observations from a thermistor chain extending from 1 to 7 m above bottom. Data from a 27-month deployment in 2007–2009 reveal repeated instances of subsurface temperature inversions. The usual diurnal pattern shows increases in temperature throughout the water column after sunrise, peaking in the early afternoon. Bottom waters typically warm faster than those at mid-depth, driving an inversion in the thermal profile. The onset and evolution of the inversions are consistent with an analytical model of radiation absorption and the contribution to bottom temperature from solar warming of the seafloor. The maximum size, duration and seasonal distribution of the inversions indicate that salinity compensation is a major limiting factor. In the absence of salinity compensation, the implication is that bottom heating destabilizes the water column and convective transport results. In addition, recurring afternoon onshore bottom currents contribute to the termination of inversions. Although radiative heating may exacerbate coral heat stress, radiation-driven thermal convection and exposure to the open ocean modulate temperatures over the reef.
No References for this article.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-07-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more