The oxygen and carbon isotope distribution in the Mediterranean water masses

The oxygen and carbon isotope distribution in the Mediterranean water masses The oxygen and carbon stable isotope compositions of the present-day Mediterranean waters have been measured in order to evaluate their variability, which is related to the specific climatic and hydrological conditions within the basin. The experimental equation between the δ 18 O value and the salinity of water, based on 300 measurements on surface, intermediate, and deep waters sampled during the VICOMED 2 and 3 cruises in the western, central and eastern Mediterranean, has a slope of 0.27, a value which is significantly lower than the slope of 0.45, as defined in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. This difference in the δ 18 O–salinity relationship, which occurs immediately in the Alboran basin, is basically a characteristic of the climatic regime of the Mediterranean, i.e., of an excess evaporation over fresh water input. The largest variations of these two parameters, δ 18 O of water and δ 13 C of ∑CO 2 , are observed in the surface waters, mostly in the western Mediterranean. This evolution mirrors the progressive eastward restriction, which separates the less-evaporated and more-productive western basins from the more-evaporated and less-productive eastern basins. The intermediate waters constitute a homogeneous layer. However, their δ 18 O values decrease eastward by 0.35‰ at maximum, due to progressive dilution by mixing with overlying and underlying water masses; their δ 13 C values decrease also eastward by 0.35‰ at maximum, due to an increasing input of nutrients issued from the regeneration of sinking organic particles. The deep waters have similar δ 18 O values but slightly higher δ 13 C values (often by less than 0.1‰) than the overlying intermediate waters, indicating generally well ventilated conditions due to active winter convection. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marine Geology Elsevier

The oxygen and carbon isotope distribution in the Mediterranean water masses

Marine Geology, Volume 153 (1) – Jan 1, 1999

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0025-3227
eISSN
1872-6151
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0025-3227(98)00090-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The oxygen and carbon stable isotope compositions of the present-day Mediterranean waters have been measured in order to evaluate their variability, which is related to the specific climatic and hydrological conditions within the basin. The experimental equation between the δ 18 O value and the salinity of water, based on 300 measurements on surface, intermediate, and deep waters sampled during the VICOMED 2 and 3 cruises in the western, central and eastern Mediterranean, has a slope of 0.27, a value which is significantly lower than the slope of 0.45, as defined in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. This difference in the δ 18 O–salinity relationship, which occurs immediately in the Alboran basin, is basically a characteristic of the climatic regime of the Mediterranean, i.e., of an excess evaporation over fresh water input. The largest variations of these two parameters, δ 18 O of water and δ 13 C of ∑CO 2 , are observed in the surface waters, mostly in the western Mediterranean. This evolution mirrors the progressive eastward restriction, which separates the less-evaporated and more-productive western basins from the more-evaporated and less-productive eastern basins. The intermediate waters constitute a homogeneous layer. However, their δ 18 O values decrease eastward by 0.35‰ at maximum, due to progressive dilution by mixing with overlying and underlying water masses; their δ 13 C values decrease also eastward by 0.35‰ at maximum, due to an increasing input of nutrients issued from the regeneration of sinking organic particles. The deep waters have similar δ 18 O values but slightly higher δ 13 C values (often by less than 0.1‰) than the overlying intermediate waters, indicating generally well ventilated conditions due to active winter convection.

Journal

Marine GeologyElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 1999

References

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