Mobile version

Thermohaline Circulation

The one major drawback of observing the oceans from space is that electromagnetic waves emitted and received by the satellite do not penetrate far beneath the sea surface. Altimetry satellites do measure range from the satellite to the surface, but the estimated sea surface height also comprises the cumulative impact of many phenomena over the whole water column. Thus we can deduce from these measurements what's happening in the depths.

Denmark Strait, between Greenland and Iceland is like a sill (left: bathymetric map) southward which cold water sinks. There, an altimetric map show strong turbulence, without matching surface process (Kinetic energy map deduced from altimetry, right). (Credits KMS).

The Greenland sea is a key zone of planetwide ocean circulation, i.e. thermohaline circulation. There, cold and salty Atlantic waters sink to the bottom of the ocean, like a waterfall. Descending, cold water mixes with ambient one, creating subsurface eddies that altimetry data analysis able us to detect.

See also:

Websites on this subject:

Rss feedsContactPartnersFAQLexiconLegal noticePersonal Data Protection PolicyMobile
You must enable cookies in your browser preferences to save the modifications
You are using an older version of Internet Explorer, please update to take full advantage of Aviso+ features

Customize the home page

View all widgets
Reduce display
Public profile
User profile

Select/Deselect widgets

Discover AVISO+

Customizable home, reading tools, products search guide, etc.. Discover step by step the features of the new site AVISO+.

Customizable homepage

This home page is composed of blocks called "widgets".

Rearrange the blocks with a "Click & Drop".

Hide a widget with the cross at the top right. Reset or add a widget with the "wrench" icon. The "User" and "Public" profiles offer a predefined organization.

All the modifications are automatically saved as cookies on your machine so as to enable you to have your own specific AVISO+.

Reading tools

Ease your reading by choosing the page background colour (black/white) and/or by modifying the font size.

Browsing menu and breadcrum trail

To ease your browsing through AVISO+, you can use at any time the main banner items with the interactive submenus or use the browsing menu on the left side of the screen (it is open by default). For more readiness of the page contents, you can fold and unfold the browsing menu by clicking on the tab. At any time you can know where you are thanks to the browsing menu or the breadcrum at the top of the page.

Products search guide

The first submenu of the "Data" banner item leads you to a new search form enabling you to find quickier the product that suits your needs. The list of results is updated according to your selection criteria.

AVISO+ Multimedia

The first submenu of the "Multimedia" banner item leads you to AVISO+ collections of images and videos linked to altimetry and its applications. Have a nice visit!