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2008
LeBel, DA, Smethie WM, Rhein M, Kieke D, Fine RA, Bullister JL, Min DH, Roether W, Weiss RF, Andrie C, Smythe-Wright D, Jones EP.  2008.  The formation rate of North Atlantic Deep Water and Eighteen Degree Water calculated from CFC-11 inventories observed during WOCE. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 55:891-910.   10.1016/j.dsr.2008.03.009   AbstractWebsite

The accumulation of man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in subsurface water masses is directly related to their formation rate, and the water mass formation rate can be calculated from its CFC inventory. CFC-11 inventories between 65 degrees N and 10 degrees S in the Atlantic Ocean have been calculated for Eighteen Degree Water (EDW) and the components of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) from data collected primarily between 1996 and 1998 as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). CFC-11 inventories for individual water masses are 5.4 million moles for EDW, 10.5 million moles for Upper Labrador Sea Water (ULSW) (4.6 million moles south of 42 degrees N), 23.4 million moles for Classical Labrador Sea Water (CLSW), 10.4 million moles for Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW), and 8.3 million moles for Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW). The estimated error for these inventories is about +/- 10%. The sum of the NADW components (ULSW, CLSW, ISOW, DSOW) is 53.2 million moles which is about half of the total CFC-11 inventory, 103.8 million moles, in the North Atlantic Ocean. Maps of water column inventories illustrate the formation mechanisms and spreading pathways within these water masses. The inventories directly reflect the input of newly formed water in the North Atlantic over the time scale of the CFC transient, about 3 decades. The interior regions of the North Atlantic contain most (75-80%) of the CFC-11 inventory in NADW indicating strong recirculation and mixing of newly formed NADW from the DWBC into the interior with a time scale of 2-3 decades. Average water mass formation rates between 1970 and 1997 are: 3.3Sv for EDW, 3.5Sv for ULSW (2.0Sv from the central Labrador Sea and 1.5 Sv from the southern Labrador Sea), 8.2 Sv for CLSW, 5.7 Sv for ISOW, and 2.2 Sv for DSOW. Estimated errors are +/- 20% for CLSW and +/- 16% for the other water masses. The total for NADW, which forms the deep limb of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, is 19.6 Sv. An extensive test of the effects of temporal variability on the average formation rate calculated from the CFC inventory indicates that the error introduced by the assumption of a constant water mass formation rate is no greater than 15% for CLSW and 10% for the other water masses. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

2002
Rhein, M, Fischer J, Smethie WM, Smythe-Wright D, Weiss RF, Mertens C, Min DH, Fleischmann U, Putzka A.  2002.  Labrador Sea Water: pathways, CFC inventory, and formation rates. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 32:648-665.   10.1175/1520-0485(2002)032<0648:lswpci>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

In 1997, a unique hydrographic and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC: component CFC-11) dataset was obtained in the subpolar North Atlantic. To estimate the synopticity of the 1997 data, the recent temporal evolution of the CFC and Labrador Sea Water (LSW) thickness fields are examined. In the western Atlantic north of 50degreesN, the LSW thickness decreased considerably from 1994-97, while the mean CFC concentrations did not change much. South of 50degreesN and in the eastern Atlantic, the CFC concentration increased with little or no change in the LSW thickness. On shorter timescales, local anomalies due to the presence of eddies are observed, but for space scales larger than the eddies the dataset can be treated as being synoptic over the 1997 observation period. The spreading of LSW in the subpolar North Atlantic is described in detail using gridded CFC and LSW thickness fields combined with Profiling Autonomous Lagrangian Circulation Explorer (PALACE) float trajectories. The gridded fields are also used to calculate the CFC-11 inventory in the LSW from 40degrees to 65degreesN, and from 10degrees to 60degreesW. In total, 2300 +/- 250 tons of CFC-11 (equivalent to 16.6 million moles) were brought into the LSW by deep convection. In 1997, 28% of the inventory was still found in the Labrador Sea west of 45degreesW and 31% of the inventory was located in the eastern Atlantic. The CFC inventory in the LSW was used to estimate the lower limits of LSW formation rates. At a constant formation rate, a value of 4.4-5.6 Sv (Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)) is obtained. If the denser modes of LSW are ventilated only in periods with intense convection, the minimum formation rate of LSW in 1988-94 is 8.1-10.8 Sv, and 1.8-2.4 Sv in 1995-97.