Saline Deep Water in the Caribbean Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico.
TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION DEPT OF OCEANOGRAPHY
Pagination or Media Count:
Preliminary analysis of the deep hydrographic data of the Caribbean Sea suggests that the high salinity deep water entered the Caribbean Sea mainly through the Windward Passage. A greater part of this water flows along the Cayman Trench and enters the Gulf of Mexico through Yucatan Straits, reaching its southwestern corner along the continental slope. Apparently this water originates in the high-saline North Atlantic Deep Water of Mediterranean origin. The salinity of this water shows a long term change in the western North Atlantic. For instance, the salinity below 1500 m in the Cayman Sea increased steadily from 1960 to 1966 and then suddenly decreased, whereas the salinity in the Gulf followed this trend but with a time lag of about one to two years. The salinity of the deep water south of Bermuda also increased steadily between 1958 and 1967. An increase of the westward transport of the deep water of the Mediterranean origin is necessary to cause observed salinity increase. Vertical eddy diffusivity in the high salinity water is of the order of 10 sq cmsec and higher by one order of magnitude than in the thermocline due to low and negative Richardson numbers. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography