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Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 581594 Rapid climate change and conditional instability of the glacial deep
 

Summary: Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 581594
Rapid climate change and conditional instability of the glacial deep
ocean from the thermobaric effect and geothermal heating
Jess F. Adkinsa,, Andrew P. Ingersollb
, Claudia Pasqueroa
a
MS 100-23, Department of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
b
MS 150-21, Department of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Accepted 13 November 2004
Abstract
Previous results from deep-sea pore fluid data demonstrate that the glacial deep ocean was filled with salty, cold water from the
South. This salinity stratification of the ocean allows for the possible accumulation of geothermal heat in the deep-sea and could
result in a water column with cold fresh water on top of warm salty water and with a corresponding increase in potential energy. For
an idealized 4000 dbar two-layer water column, we calculate that there are $106
J/m2
($0.2 J/kg) of potential energy available when
a 0.4 psu salinity contrast is balanced by a $2 1C temperature difference. This salt-based storage of heat at depth is analogous to
Convectively Available Potential Energy (CAPE) in the atmosphere. The ``thermobaric effect'' in the seawater equation of state can
cause this potential energy to be released catastrophically. Because deep ocean stratification was dominated by salinity at the Last

  

Source: Adkins, Jess F. - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology
Pasquero, Claudia - Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences