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Freshwater exchanges and surface salinity in the Colombian basin, Caribbean Sea

AuthorsBeier, Emilio; Bernal, Gladys; Ruiz-Ochoa, Mauricio; Barton, Eric D. CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2017
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 12(8): e0182116 (2017)
AbstractDespite the heavy regional rainfall and considerable discharge of many rivers into the Colombian Basin, there have been few detailed studies about the dilution of Caribbean Surface Water and the variability of salinity in the southwestern Caribbean. An analysis of the precipitation, evaporation and runoff in relation to the climate variability demonstrates that although the salt balance in the Colombian Basin overall is in equilibrium, the area south of 12°N is an important dilution sub-basin. In the southwest of the basin, in the region of the Panama-Colombia Gyre, Caribbean Sea Water is diluted by precipitation and runoff year round, while in the northeast, off La Guajira, its salinity increases from December to May by upwelling. At the interannual scale, continental runoff is related to El Niño Southern Oscillation, and precipitation and evaporation south of 12°N are related to the Caribbean Low Level Jet. During El Niño years the maximum salinification occurs in the dry season (December-February) while in La Niña years the maximum dilution (or freshening), reaching La Guajira Coastal Zone, occurs in the wet season (September-November)
Description19 páginas, 11 figuras, 1 tabla.-- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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