The Three-Dimensional Mapping of a Small Thermohaline Intrusion

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  • 1 Applied Physics Laboratory and Department of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle 98195
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Abstract

During the Mixed-Layer Experiment (MILE) at Ocean Station P in August-September 1977. a depth-cycling towed CTD was used to map intrusions below the seasonal thermocline. In a 10 km square two prominent minima in temperature and salinity were found to be 6–8 km long, 2 km wide and 7–15 m thick. A detailed survey of one of these showed that it had a tongue-like shape and sloped downward across isopycnal surfaces from its origin at a strong front in a corner of the mapped area. The characteristics of the intrusion in comparison with laboratory experiments make it probable that it originated by double-diffusive convection occurring in the frontal region.

Abstract

During the Mixed-Layer Experiment (MILE) at Ocean Station P in August-September 1977. a depth-cycling towed CTD was used to map intrusions below the seasonal thermocline. In a 10 km square two prominent minima in temperature and salinity were found to be 6–8 km long, 2 km wide and 7–15 m thick. A detailed survey of one of these showed that it had a tongue-like shape and sloped downward across isopycnal surfaces from its origin at a strong front in a corner of the mapped area. The characteristics of the intrusion in comparison with laboratory experiments make it probable that it originated by double-diffusive convection occurring in the frontal region.

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