Mass, salt, and heat transport by ocean currents across 35 degee north latitude in the Pacific ocean
Whitford, Dennis James
von Schwind, Joseph John
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This work represents a synoptic study conducted in the North Pacific Ocean to determine mass, salt, and heat transports from a calculation of geostrophic currents. Comprehensive depth, temperature, and salinity data were obtained from the INDOPAC 1 and 16 expeditions (April 1976 and July 1977) which covered a complete cross-sectional area along 35 deg N from California to Japan. The geostrophic approximation was assumed valid. A level of no motion was determined at 851 meters by establishing mass continuity across the latitudinal cross section. A net northward salt transport of 16.27 x 10 to the 12th power 0/00/sec was determined. A resulting meridional heat transport of 288 x 10 to the 12th power cal/sec toward the equator was determined. It would have been expected that most of the oceanic heat transport would take place in the upper waters where the temperature and currents are much higher and stronger and that the transport would be poleward. However this study showed that the lower temperatures found at depth, transported at slower velocities, can balance the upper waters' heat transport due to the tremendous volume of middle, deep, and bottom water
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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