A global algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity

T. J. McDougall, D. R. Jackett, Frank J Millero, R. Pawlowicz, P. M. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The International Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater - 2010 has defined the thermodynamic properties of seawater in terms of a new salinity variable, Absolute Salinity, which takes into account the spatial variation of the composition of seawater. Absolute Salinity more accurately reflects the effects of the dissolved material in seawater on the thermodynamic properties (particularly density) than does Practical Salinity. When a seawater sample has standard composition (i.e. the ratios of the constituents of sea salt are the same as those of surface water of the North Atlantic), Practical Salinity can be used to accurately evaluate the thermodynamic properties of seawater. When seawater is not of standard composition, Practical Salinity alone is not sufficient and the Absolute Salinity Anomaly needs to be estimated; this anomaly is as large as 0.025 g kg-1 in the northernmost North Pacific. Here we provide an algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity Anomaly for any location (x, y, p) in the world ocean. To develop this algorithm, we used the Absolute Salinity Anomaly that is found by comparing the density calculated from Practical Salinity to the density measured in the laboratory. These estimates of Absolute Salinity Anomaly however are limited to the number of available observations (namely 811). In order to provide a practical method that can be used at any location in the world ocean, we take advantage of approximate relationships between Absolute Salinity Anomaly and silicate concentrations (which are available globally).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1134
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Science
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 21 2012

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salinity
seawater
anomaly
thermodynamic property
sea salt
ocean
spatial variation
silicate
thermodynamics
surface water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

McDougall, T. J., Jackett, D. R., Millero, F. J., Pawlowicz, R., & Barker, P. M. (2012). A global algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity. Ocean Science, 8(6), 1123-1134. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-8-1123-2012

A global algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity. / McDougall, T. J.; Jackett, D. R.; Millero, Frank J; Pawlowicz, R.; Barker, P. M.

In: Ocean Science, Vol. 8, No. 6, 21.12.2012, p. 1123-1134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McDougall, TJ, Jackett, DR, Millero, FJ, Pawlowicz, R & Barker, PM 2012, 'A global algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity', Ocean Science, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 1123-1134. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-8-1123-2012
McDougall TJ, Jackett DR, Millero FJ, Pawlowicz R, Barker PM. A global algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity. Ocean Science. 2012 Dec 21;8(6):1123-1134. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-8-1123-2012
McDougall, T. J. ; Jackett, D. R. ; Millero, Frank J ; Pawlowicz, R. ; Barker, P. M. / A global algorithm for estimating Absolute Salinity. In: Ocean Science. 2012 ; Vol. 8, No. 6. pp. 1123-1134.
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