Salinity, Temperature, & Density
Name Zainube kuse
Part 1. CTD Data
Much oceanography data collected at sea is CTD data. C stands for electrical conductivity of seawater.
T stands for temperature, and D stands for depth, which is measured as a function of water pressure. The
N.O.A.A. ship KA‘IMIMOANA collects and analyses a lot of CDT data, gathered from strings of
instruments moored at various locations in the Pacific Ocean. Follow the instructions below to answer
these questions. Write your answers legibly – so I can easily read them.
Access the web-site of N.O.A.A. ship KA’IMIMOANA at the web-site listed below. Take the ‘Research?
link located at the top of the page and then the marked CTD data’ near the bottom of the page.
1) What type of instrument does the KA’IMIMOANA use to collect its CDT data?
Scroll down to cruise GP8-02-KA (November 2002). Click on the temperature plot for longitude 180
degrees (west). This graph plots data from stations along longitude 180 degrees, ranging from latitude 8
degrees south to 6 degrees north. This is in the central Pacific, south of Hawaii. Pressure (related to
depth) is plotted down the left side of the plot, and temperatures (in degrees Celsius) are contoured and
color coded on the plot and keyed out on the right side. These graphs can be printed out if you wish.
2) What is the highest temperature contoured?
3) What is the temperature of the coldest water contoured?
At what latitude is the coolest water found at the surface?
At latitude 2 degrees south, a tongue of warm water occurs at a pressure of about 100 Db.
What is the temperature of this mass?
4) The thermocline here is the sharp drop in temperature between about 29 degrees C and 13
At what pressure is a temp. of 29 °C found at the equator (0° latitude)?
At what pressure is a temp of 13 °C found at the equator (0° latitude)?
This sharp thermocline prevents mixing of surface water and deep water.
5) Back up, and click on the salinity data for the same time and place. This is a similar plot,
except that water salinity is plotted, contoured, and color coded.
At what latitude is the least salty water at the surface?
What is the surface salinity at the equator?
A spectacular tongue of salty water occurs at 8 degrees south latitude at a pressure of
about 180 Db. What is the highest salinity contoured in this tongue?
6) This distribution raises some interesting questions. You can readily see the existence of different water
masses of varying salinities and temperatures that exist in the ocean.
How come the very salty water mass will not sink any deeper?
How come the less salty water below it will not rise to the top of it?
Use key graphs showing depth versus temperature, depth versus salinity, and depth versus density
Use the graphs provided in this packet to plot your graphs. On the sheet of graph paper, for eac
graph type – thermocline, halocline, and pycnocline – indicate the three zones of the ocean as
Part II. Temperature, Salinity, Density versus Depth Graph
The oceanography vessel, Alfred Wegener, samples seawater at point immediately southeast of
Tahiti in the south Pacific and collects the data shown in Table 1. Depth, temperature, and
salinity are recorded at that spot. The density of seawater is controlled by its temperature and
salinity; knowing these values one can calculate accurately a water mass’ density using a
“Sigma-T” diagram. Such a diagram is shown below in Figure 1. Temperature is plotted on the
vertical axis and salinity on the horizontal axis. Sigma-T values plot along the curving lines.
Suppose a water mass has a temperature of 15° C and a salinity of 35.5 parts per thousand. It
thus would have a Sigma-T value of 26.7 (lying between the Sigma-T lines of 26 and 27). See
the dot plotted on the graph in this place.
Salinity in Parts per Thousand (0/00)
Use the data in Table 1 & Figure 1 to plot the graphs of Temperature, Salinity, & Density versus
depth on the attached sheet of Graph paper
. Determine the density of the water using the Sigma-
T graph (Figure 1). Clearly label the three zones of the ocean on the graphs.
Temperature, Salinity, & Density Graph
Use the Depth Scale on Y-Axis for All 3 Graphs
A. Temperature (°C)
B. Salinity (0/00)
C. Density (g/cm)
35 36 37 38
1.0240 1.0260 1.0280
1.0230 1.0250 1.0270 1.0290
Clearly label the three zones of the ocean on the graphs.
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