Oceans and seas

Barrier layer

October 28, 2011, 12:24 pm

The barrier layer In physical oceanography is the layer between the thermocline and the halocline.

This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to improve this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion.
It is called this because of its effect on the mixed layer heat budget due to the temperature at the bottom of the barrier layer being zero, which excludes heat loss to the underlying water via mixing. It is defined as the difference between the thickness of the isothermal layer and the mixed layer (determined by a defined change in density), with the isothermal layer generally being greater than or equal to the mixed layer depth. In the Western Pacific, an area with a barrier layer, horizontal temperature gradients are also very small, leading to the conclusion that the net heat flux at the ocean surface must be close to zero.

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Citation

(2011). Barrier layer. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/150429

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