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Free Content A note on evanescent behavior of Arctic thermohaline intrusions

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Temperature/salinity interleaving is a signature of thermohaline transition in the Arctic Ocean. These interleaving features, or "intrusions," are observed to decrease in amplitude as they spread laterally from warmer toward cooler water. Here this phenomenon is investigated by considering the effect of a nonlinear equation of state on intrusion structure and behavior. The analysis shows that large-scale gradients of the thermal expansion coefficient (α) can induce a spatial decay of intrusion temperature, salinity, and velocity amplitudes toward cooler water. Spatial decay implies a recirculating flow between adjacent layers, which induces a slow vertical propagation of the intrusions. The temperature-dependence of α provides a mechanism which may act to trap intrusions in the vicinity of warm Arctic boundary currents, inhibiting ventilation of cooler waters.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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