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Water Masses and Circulation in the Tropical Pacific off Central Mexico and Surrounding Areas

AuthorsPortela, Esther; Beier, Emilio; Barton, Eric D. ; Castro, Rubén; Godínez, Víctor M.; Palacios-Hernández, Emilio; Fiedler, Paul C.; Sánchez-Velasco, Laura; Trasviña, Armando
Water masses
Issue Date2016
PublisherAmerican Meteorological Society
CitationJournal of Physical Oceanography 46(10): 3069-3081 (2016)
AbstractThe seasonal variations and the interactions of the water masses in the tropical Pacific off central Mexico (TPCM) and four surrounding areas were examined based on an extensive new hydrographic database. The regional water masses were redefined in terms of absolute salinity (SA) and conservative temperature (Θ) according to the Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater 2010 (TEOS-10). Hydrographic data and the evaporation minus (precipitation + runoff) balance were used to investigate the origin and seasonality of two salinity minima in the area. The shallow (50–100 m) salinity minimum originates with the California Current System and becomes saltier as it extends southeastward and mixes with tropical subsurface waters while the surface salinity minimum extends farther north in the TPCM in summer and fall because of the northward advection of tropical surface waters. The interactions between water masses allow a characterization of the seasonal pattern of circulation of the Mexican Coastal Current (MCC), the tropical branch of the California Current, and the flows through the entrance of the Gulf of California. The seasonality of the MCC inferred from the distribution of the water masses largely coincides with the geostrophic circulation forced by an annual Rossby wave
Description13 páginas, 8 figuras, 2 tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-16-0068.1
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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