Mixed layer heat and salinity budgets during the onset of the 2011 Atlantic cold tongue.

Schlundt, Michael, Brandt, Peter , Dengler, Marcus , Hummels, Rebecca, Fischer, Tim , Bumke, Karl, Krahmann, Gerd and Karstensen, Johannes (2014) Mixed layer heat and salinity budgets during the onset of the 2011 Atlantic cold tongue. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 . pp. 7882-7910. DOI 10.1002/2014JC010021.

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Abstract

The mixed layer (ML) temperature and salinity changes in the central tropical Atlantic have been studied by a dedicated experiment (Cold Tongue Experiment (CTE)) carried out from May to July 2011. The CTE was based on two successive research cruises, a glider swarm, and moored observations. The acquired in situ data sets together with satellite, reanalysis, and assimilation model data were used to evaluate box-averaged ML heat and salinity budgets for two subregions: (1) the western equatorial Atlantic cold tongue (ACT) (23°–10°W) and (2) the region north of the ACT. The strong ML heat loss in the ACT region during the CTE was found to be the result of the balance of warming due to net surface heat flux and cooling due to zonal advection and diapycnal mixing. The northern region was characterized by weak cooling and the dominant balance of net surface heat flux and zonal advection. A strong salinity increase occurred at the equator, 10°W, just before the CTE. During the CTE, ML salinity in the ACT region slightly increased. Largest contributions to the ML salinity budget were zonal advection and the net surface freshwater flux. While essential for the ML heat budget in the ACT region, diapycnal mixing played only a minor role for the ML salinity budget. In the region north of the ACT, the ML freshened at the beginning of the CTE due to precipitation, followed by a weak salinity increase. Zonal advection changed sign contributing to ML freshening at the beginning of the CTE and salinity increase afterward.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/284321
Additional Information: WOS:000346102900030
Keywords: equatorial Atlantic;cold tongue experiment;mixed layer budgets;diapycnal mixing;advection
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2014JC010021
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: SOPRAN, SACUS, RACE, BMBF Nordatlantik, GROOM, PREFACE, Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 15:14
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 19:13
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/26137

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