The summer circulation in the Gulf of Suez and its influence in the Red Sea thermohaline circulation

S. Sofianos, William E Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Gulf of Suez is accepted as an important location for Red Sea Deep Water formation, but the circulation and exchange with the Red Sea around the year remains elusive. A summer cruise in the area gives the opportunity to investigate features of the summertime hydrological structure and exchange with the Red Sea. An inverse estuarine circulation and exchange with the Red Sea is evident. The topographic patterns of the gulf play an important role in the circulation. Two sills, one in midbasin and a second at the mouth of the gulf, inhibit the bottom flow, topographically trapping waters that were formed in the cold season. Although the water mass characteristics of the outflowing waters during the other seasons are not directly related to the deep waters, they can influence the water column structure of the northern Red Sea. A simple box model shows that their contribution can have a significant influence in the formation of the intermediate layer. A hypersaline (40.6 psu) but relatively warm (23°C) water mass, originating in the Gulf of Suez, is detected at intermediate depths (100-150 m), with a strong signal in the western part of the Red Sea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2047-2053
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Ocean
  • Seas/gulfs/bays
  • Ship observations
  • Thermohaline circulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

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