Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 01

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Volume 28, No. 1
Pages 32 - 39

Differences Among Subtropical Surface Salinity Patterns

Arnold L. Gordon Claudia F. GiuliviJulius BuseckeFrederick M. Bingham
Article Abstract

The subtropical ocean, exposed to evaporation excess over precipitation, is characterized by regional sea surface salinity maxima (SSS-max). Ocean circulation and mixing processes inject freshwater, establishing a quasi-steady state, though imbalances across the time spectrum result in periods of increasing and decreasing SSS-max. The integrated effect of the array of atmospheric and oceanic forces governing sea surface salinity is shaped by the specific regional ocean basin configuration as well as their coupling to the global ocean system, resulting in SSS-max patterns and locations that display marked differences between the subtropical regimes. We provide a brief description of the SSS-max characteristics of the five subtropical regimes and present aspects of their regional settings that may account for their dissimilarities.


Gordon, A.L., C.F. Giulivi, J. Busecke, and F.M. Bingham. 2015. Differences among subtropical surface salinity patterns. Oceanography 28(1):32–39, https://doi.org/​10.5670/oceanog.2015.02.


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