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Direct Observations of North Pacific Ventilation: Brine Rejection in the Okhotsk Sea

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Science  12 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5652, pp. 1952-1955
DOI: 10.1126/science.1088692

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Abstract

Brine rejection that accompanies ice formation in coastal polynyas is responsible for ventilating several globally important water masses in the Arctic and Antarctic. However, most previous studies of this process have been indirect, based on heat budget analyses or on warm-season water column inventories. Here, we present direct measurements of brine rejection and formation of North Pacific Intermediate Water in the Okhotsk Sea from moored winter observations. A steady, nearly linear salinity increase unambiguously caused by local ice formation was observed for more than a month.

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