A large abrupt change in the abyssal water masses of the eastern Mediterranean
Article first published online: 4 DEC 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 23, December 2007
How to Cite
2007), A large abrupt change in the abyssal water masses of the eastern Mediterranean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L23607, doi:10.1029/2007GL031737., and (
- Issue published online: 4 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 4 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 1 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Received: 20 AUG 2007
- thermohaline circulation;
- water formation;
 In this letter we report observations showing, for the first time, the occurrence of a new, major transformation in the thermohaline cell of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. After 2 decades, during which waters of Aegean origin dominated the abyssal layers of that basin, the Adriatic Sea has returned to represent a major source of Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water (EMDW). The observed characteristics of such water, however, profoundly differ from those observed previously in the abyssal layers of the Ionian basin. In fact, the newly formed EMDW we observed there is saltier, warmer, and denser than EMDW observed before and during the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT). Thus, during the past 2 decades, the thermohaline cell of the eastern Mediterranean, once considered steady, showed two large, abrupt, somehow opposite fluctuations. As in the case of the first one, origins, climatic implications, and fate of this second fluctuation have to be clarified.