Compensation of Horizontal Temperature and Salinity Gradients in the Ocean Mixed Layer

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Science  22 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5401, pp. 526-529
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5401.526

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Establishment of the temperature-salinity relationship in the ocean has concerned oceanographers for decades because of its importance for understanding ocean circulation. High-resolution measurements in the ocean mixed layer are used to show that temperature and salinity gradients on horizontal scales of 20 meters to 10 kilometers tend to compensate in their effect on density. These observations support the notion of a horizontal mixing in the mixed layer that depends on density gradient.

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