Saturday, 17 May 2014

Over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

A post by Lola Pérez Hernández

As Eleanor said in the last post we have been crossing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The MAR is a subsea mountain range that divides the Atlantic into eastern and western basins.  The MAR rises in some points up to 1000 m from the surface. From a geological point of view the MAR is where the oceanic crust gets renewed on a long time basis. The RAPID project has several moorings over the MAR. Can you imagine why? Apart form being in the middle of the ocean, having this mountain chain through the whole Atlantic Ocean affects the deep-flow. This is the case for the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW).  The AABW is formed in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica and flows northwards along off the east coast of South America and then along the west side of the MAR in the North Atlantic.    The AABW is cold and we can trace the path that it follows by looking at the temperature of the water
Topography of the Atlantic Ocean,
colour indicates the depth in metres
Temperature of the Atlantic water at 4,500m depth, 
the arrows indicate the flow of Antarctic Bottom Water.

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