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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-340
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-340
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 23 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

A New Characterization of the Upper Waters of the central Gulf of México based on Water Mass Hydrographic and Biogeochemical Characteristics

Gabriela Yareli Cervantes-Diaz1, Jose Martín Hernández-Ayón1,5, Alberto Zirino6, Sharon Zinah Herzka7, Victor Camacho-Ibar5, Ivonne Montes4, Joël Sudre3, and Juan Antonio Delgado1,2 Gabriela Yareli Cervantes-Diaz et al.
  • 1Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Transpeninsular Tijuana-Ensenada, no. 3917, Fraccionamiento Playitas, CP 22860, Ensenada, Baja California, México
  • 2Instituto Tecnológico de Guaymas/Tec. Nacional de México, Guaymas, Sonora, México
  • 3LEGOS, CNRS/IRD/UPS/CNES UMR 5566, 18 av. Ed Belin, 31401 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
  • 4Insitituto Geofisico del Perú, Lima, Perú
  • 5Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Transpeninsular Tijuana-Ensenada, no. 3917, Fraccionamiento Playitas, CP 22860, Ensenada, Baja California, México
  • 6Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093, USA
  • 7Departamento de Oceanografía Biológica, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Baja California, Carretera Ensenada-Tijuana No. 3918, Zona Playitas, 22860 Ensenada, Baja California, México

Abstract. In the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) at least three near-surface water masses are affected by mesoscale processes that modulate the biogeochemical cycles. Prior studies have presented different classifications of water masses where the greater emphasis was on deep waters and not on the surface waters (σθ < 26 kg m−3), as in this work. Here presents a new classification of water masses in the GoM, based on thermohaline properties and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration using data from a total of five summer and winter cruises carried out primarily in the central GoM. The reclassification includes an adjustment to the spatial range of Caribbean Surface Water (CSW), which is detected only during the summer. This water mass extends from the surface to ≈ 90 m and features warm waters (27–32 °C), high salinities (up to ≈ 36.8), non-detectable nitrate concentration, and negative values of the apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) of ≈ −27 μmol kg−1. Below the CSW, the deeper Gulf Common Water (GCW) was also redefined and characterized by a subsurface DO maximum, with values ≈ 50 μmol kg−1 higher than that found in surface waters. In winter, a replacement of the CSW by the GCW affected the biogeochemical composition of surface water as observed from an increase in nitrate concentrations, positives values of AOU (≈ 90 μmol kg−1) and a decrease in surface temperatures (< 27 °C). This is because during winter, the Tropical Atlantic Central Water (TACW) that lies below the GCW is closer to the surface and contributes nutrients and low DO via strong vertical mixing induced by the windy Nortes season. CARS2009 analysis supports the formation of the subsurface maximum of DO during the summer and disappears in winter. In this work also named surface water that is characterized by a low salt content (≈ 33.1) from 0 to 20 m as Freshwater Influenced Surface Water (FISW).

Gabriela Yareli Cervantes-Diaz et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Gabriela Yareli Cervantes-Diaz et al.
Gabriela Yareli Cervantes-Diaz et al.
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Short summary
In this work we presents a new classification of water masses in the GoM, based on thermohaline properties and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration using data from a total of five summer and winter cruises carried out primarily in the central GoM. The importance of this redefinition of the water masses contributes to a better understanding of their role in the dynamics of nutrients (and carbon).
In this work we presents a new classification of water masses in the GoM, based on thermohaline...
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