Mass, salt, and heat transportation across four latitude circles in the south Atlantic Ocean.
Mason, J. Robert
Jung, Glenn H.
von Schwind, J.J.
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In this report classic dynamic height calculations were made from International Geophysical Year (1957-1958) and adjacent 1959 oceanographic data to obtain geostrophic currents and estimates of mass, salt, and heat transports in the South Atlantic Ocean. The cross sections extend from South America to Africa along the 8°S, 16 °S, 24 °S, and 32 °S latitude lines , providing temperature and salinity data from the surface to near bottom. A level of no motion was determined by establishing mass and salt continuity across each of the latitudinal cross sections. This level varied from 1100 meters at 8°S to 1270 meters at 32 °S. It is approximated by the 27.57 sigma-t surface and corresponds closely to the boundary between the Antarctic Intermediate Water and the South Atlantic Deep Water masses. The resulting meridional heat transport was then examined and compared with other estimates . Northward (equatorward) heat transports resulted at each latitude , which would seem to oppose the conventional view of the role of the ocean in the earth's heat budget as a means to transfer heat from equator to poles. However, the northward direction of the net absolute heat transport agrees with the consensus of previous work and is attributed to the warmer surface currents with a net northward transport dominating the cooler deeper currents and their net southward flow. A general circulation pattern was developed from mass transport values for each of three layers of water: Upper, Intermediate, and Deep and Bottom Water. These derived circulation patterns are then compared to general descriptive circulation patterns found in the literature. General agreement was found with the notable exception of lacking a strong Brazil current in the surface and central waters. Vertical cross sections of velocity, mass, salt, and heat transport were contoured to examine the eddy field circulation pattern and further describe general circulation patterns.
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NPS Report NumberNPS 68-78-007
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