Effect of changes in the composition of seawater on the density-salinity relationship

Frank J. Millero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Over the next 5-10 years, the WOCE hydrographic program will generate reliable hydrographic data for the world oceans. The resultant conductivity salinity, temperature, and pressure data will generate calculated densities that will be used to examine mixing along constant density surfaces. Changes in the composition of deep waters due to the breakdown of plant material can effect the calculated densities at a given conductivity salinity. The increases in SiO2, nitrate, alkalinity, and TCO2 (or pH) can change the density of seawater as well as the conductivity. For studies of the salinity and density fields over small spatial scales, these changes will be small, but for large scale and ocean to ocean studies the differences can be significant. The density calculations based on the salinity determined from conductivity need to be adjusted for the offsets due to changes in the composition of seawater. This report describes how this correction should be made using existing information. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1583-1590
Number of pages8
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000


  • Density
  • Sigma-T

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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