Mediterranean Outflow sinks to 1000m

Mediterranean Outflow sinks to 1000m

The sinking of Mediterranean outflow 1000 m at Straits of Gibraltar can be attributed to both temperature and salinity.  With the salinity of 38.4 and a temperature of 13.4, the dense water in Straits of Gibraltar of Mediterranean Sea is both saltier and warmer compared to the North Atlantic Central water. The North Atlantic Central Water has salinity ranging between 35.6 and 35.7 and temperature ranging from 11.5 to 12.5. This means that water at North Atlantic Central Water is denser than Strait of Gibraltar facilitates the movement of water towards Straits of Gibraltar. The movement of this water does not stop until the sea water is surrounded by water that has the same density.The oceanographers observed that the movement of this water goes hand in hand with the increases in depth (Iorga 1999).  The saline water flowing from Mediterranean Sea flows through North Atlantic at approximately depths between 900 and 1300m. Due to the differences among density, saline and temperature in both Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea water, the Strait of Gibraltar has been forced to sink to 1000m (Filyushkin, Moshonkin and Kozhelupova 2008). The stalest water then flows from Strait of Gibraltar and the northwestern parts of Spain and cuts across westwards becoming more diluted. The studies have associated temperature and salinity with the Mediterranean Sea water as the reason for the 1000 m depth at Strait of Gibraltar.


Filyushkin, B N, S N Moshonkin, and N G Kozhelupova. 2008. “Seasonal evolution of the Mediterranean water propagation in the north Atlantic.” Oceanology 48 (6): 834–842.

Iorga, Michaela Ciobotaru. 1999. “Signatures of the Mediterranean outflow from a North Atlantic climatology.” Journal of Geophysical Research, 104 (11): 25,985-26,009.

error: Content is protected !!