Seasonal salinity balance in the Gulf of California

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27 Scopus citations


Historical data in various domains within the Gulf of California are used to describe the seasonal balance of the average salinity, <S>. The difference of evaporation minus precipitation, E - P, is positive along the course of a year. This produces a positive salinity anomaly, S', which is exported to the Pacific Ocean through the mouth of the gulf. Even though E - P has strong annual and semiannual cycles, it is not enough to explain the seasonal variation of the transport of S'. A linear one-dimensional nondiffusive inhomogeneous two-layer model suggests that the seasonal balance of <S> is largely controlled by the Pacific Ocean, which excites a baroclinic wave at the mouth of the gulf. Advection due to this wave is the main carrier of S' within the gulf, and the associated water rearrangement produces a considerable change in <S>. The Pacific Ocean has been previously shown to maintain the seasonal heat balance through a similar mechanism. This paper thus adds importance to the Pacific Ocean influence on the determination of the gulf's seasonal dynamics and thermodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-1 - 15-15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Baroclinic motion
  • Gulf of California
  • Salinity balance
  • Seasonal scale
  • Surface fluxes
  • Two-layer model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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