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Fiedler, PC, Talley LD.  2006.  Hydrography of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review. Progress in Oceanography. 69:143-180.   10.1016/j.pocean.2006.03.008   AbstractWebsite

Eastern tropical Pacific Ocean waters lie at the eastern end of a basin-wide equatorial current system, between two large subtropical gyres and at the terminus of two eastern boundary currents. Descriptions and interpretations of surface, pycnocline, intermediate and deep waters in the region are reviewed. Spatial and temporal patterns are discussed using (1) maps of surface temperature, salinity, and nutrients (phosphate, silicate, nitrate and nitrite), and thermocline and mixed layer parameters, and (2) meridional and zonal sections of temperature, salinity, potential density, oxygen, and nutrients. These patterns were derived from World Ocean Database observations by an ocean interpolation algorithm: loess-weighted observations were projected onto quadratic functions of spatial coordinates while simultaneously fitting annual and semiannual harmonics and the Southern Oscillation Index to account for interannual variability. Contrasts between the equatorial cold tongue and the eastern Pacific warm pool are evident in all the hydrographic parameters. Annual cycles and ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) variability are of similar amplitude in the eastern tropical Pacific, however, there are important regional differences in relative variability at these time scales. Unique characteristics of the eastern tropical Pacific are discussed: the strong and shallow pycnocline, the pronounced oxygen minimum layer, and the Costa Rica Dome. This paper is part of a comprehensive review of the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tsuchiya, M, Talley LD.  1998.  A Pacific hydrographic section at 88 degrees W: Water-property distribution. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 103:12899-12918.   10.1029/97jc03415   AbstractWebsite

Full-depth conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD)/hydrographic measurements with high horizontal and vertical resolution were made in February-April 1993 along a line lying at a nominal longitude of 88 degrees W and extending from southern Chile (54 degrees S) to Guatemala (14 degrees N). It crossed five major deep basins (Southeast Pacific, Chile, Peru, Panama, and Guatemala basins) east of the East Pacific Rise. Vertical sections of potential temperature, salinity, potential density, oxygen, silica, phosphate, nitrate, and nitrite are presented to illustrate the structure of the entire water column. Some features of interest found in the sections are described, and an attempt is made to interpret them in terms of the isopycnal property distributions associated with the large-scale ocean circulation. These features include: various near-surface waters observed in the tropical and subtropical regions and the fronts that mark the boundaries of these waters; the possible importance of salt fingering to the downward salt transfer from the high-salinity subtropical water; a shallow thermostad (pycnostad) developed at 16 degrees-18.5 degrees C in the subtropical water; low-salinity surface water in the subantarctic zone west of southern Chile; large domains of extremely low oxygen in the subpycnocline layer on both sides of the equator and a secondary nitrite maximum associated with a nitrate minimum in these low-oxygen domains; high-salinity, low-oxygen, high-nutrient subpycnocline water that is carried poleward along the eastern boundary by the Peru-Chile Undercurrent; the Subantarctic Mode and Antarctic Intermediate waters; middepth isopycnal property extrema observed at the crest of the Sala y Gomez Ridge; influences of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic upon deep waters along the section; and the characteristics and sources of the bottom waters in the five deep basins along the section.

Tsuchiya, M, Talley LD.  1996.  Water-property distributions along an eastern Pacific hydrographic section at 135W. Journal of Marine Research. 54:541-564.   10.1357/0022240963213583   AbstractWebsite

As part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, full-depth CTD/hydrographic measurements with high horizontal and vertical resolutions were made in June-August 1991 along a line extending from 34N to 33S at a nominal longitude of 135W with an additional short leg that connects it to the California coast roughly along 34N. The line spans the major part of the subtropical and intertropical circulation regime of the eastern North and South Pacific. The primary purpose of this paper is to present vertical sections of various properties from CTD and discrete water-sample measurements along this line and to give an overview of some important features as a basis for more comprehensive basin-scale studies. These features include: the frontal structures found in the surface-layer salinity field in the North Pacific; relatively high-salinity water that dominates the subpycnocline layer between the equator and 17N; troughs of the subpycnocline isopycnals for 26.8-27.5 sigma(theta) found at 12N and 12.5S; a permanent thermostad at 9-10 degrees C observed between 4.5N and 15N; the pycnostad of the Subantarctic Mode Water centered at 27.0-27.05 sigma(theta) and developed south of 22S; two types of the Antarctic Intermediate Water representing the subtropical and equatorial circulation regimes; a thick tongue of high silica centered at 3000 m (45.8 sigma(4)) and extending southward across the entire section; deep (2000-3000 m) westward flows at 5-8N and 10-15S separated by an eastward flow at 1-2S; and dense, cold, oxygen-rich, nutrient-poor bottom waters, which are associated with fracture zones and believed to represent the pathways of eastward flows into the Northeast Pacific Basin of the bottom waters separated from the northward-flowing western boundary undercurrent. This work once again demonstrates the usefulness of long lines of high-quality, high-resolution hydrographic stations such as the one described herein in advancing the understanding of the large-scale ocean circulation.

Yuan, XJ, Talley LD.  1996.  The subarctic frontal zone in the North Pacific: Characteristics of frontal structure from climatological data and synoptic surveys. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 101:16491-16508.   10.1029/96jc01249   AbstractWebsite

The subarctic front is a thermohaline structure across the North Pacific, separating colder, fresher water to the north from warmer, saltier water to the south. Levitus's [1982] data and 72 conductivity-temperature-depth/salinity-temperature-depth sections are used to show the spatial and seasonal variations of the climatological frontal zone and the characteristics of the frontal structure in synoptic surveys. The temperature gradient in the mean frontal zone is stronger in the western Pacific and decreases eastward, while the salinity gradient has less variation across the Pacific. The temperature gradient also has larger seasonal variation, with a maximum in spring, than the salinity gradient. The synoptic surveys show that the frontal zone is narrower and individual fronts tend to be stronger in the western Pacific than in the eastern Pacific. Density gradients tend to be more compensated at the strongest salinity fronts than at the strongest temperature fronts. A horizontal minimum of vertical stability is found south of the subarctic halocline outcrop. The northern boundary of the North Pacific Intermediate Water merges with the frontal zone west of 175 degrees W and is north of the northern boundary of the subarctic frontal zone in the eastern Pacific. The shallow salinity minima start within the subarctic frontal zone in the eastern Pacific.