How Do Temperature and Salinity Affect Mixing in the Oceans?
ES2202  Mixing at the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is another location where different masses of water meet. Gather data and calculate densities to predict how water from the Caribbean side and the Pacific side will interact where they meet.

  !   Click the dot on the map to view temperature and salinity maps for that location. Record the temperature and salinity for water masses on the Caribbean side and the Pacific side of the Panama Canal (10 N, 80 W).

  !   Click the Show Density Graph button to access the graph. Use the temperature and salinity values you recorded to estimate the density of seawater at both locations.

8. Determine the temperature, salinity, and density of the water on the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of the Panama Canal.

9. Predict what would happen to water that moves from the Caribbean Sea into the Pacific Ocean.

  !   Examine the maps again to determine the salinity and density of waters near Antarctica.

10. Find waters near Antarctica with the combination of the lowest sea temperatures and highest salinity. Extrapolate (extend the information on the graph) to determine the approximate density of these waters.

11. At what level in the ocean will these waters move away from Antarctica?


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