On the climate of a subtropical ocean gyre: Decade timescale variations in water mass renewal in the Sargasso Sea Academic Article uri icon


  • A simple concept model of the climatology of a subtropical ocean gyre is developed on the basis of assumed isopycnal transport and latent heat flux. The 27 year record of annually averaged salinities on isopycnals near Bermuda shows clear and systematic variations, and significant (>95% confidence) correlations with oxygen (positive) and vertical density gradient (negative) support the hypothesis. (3)He variations at two time periods are also consistent. Comparison with the Marsden Square 115 heat flux record shows moderately good lag correlations with increasing lag with depth. The seasonal records show the post winter arrival at the station of renewed water. Back calculation of renewal rates based on oxygen, salinity and (3)H-(3)He data shows a factor of two variation in shallow water mass renewal rates over the past three decades.

publication date

  • 1982