Box modeling of the Eastern Mediterranean sea Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In ∼1990 a new source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was found in the southern part of the Aegean sea. Till then, the only source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was in the Adriatic sea; the rate of the deep water formation of the new Aegean source is 1 Sv, three times larger than the Adriatic source. We develop a simple three-box model to study the stability of the thermohaline circulation of the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The three boxes represent the Adriatic sea, Aegean sea, and the Ionian seas. The boxes exchange heat and salinity and may be described by a set of nonlinear differential equations. We analyze these equations and find that the system may have one, two, or four stable flux states. We conjecture that the change in the deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean sea is attributed to a switch between the different states on the thermohaline circulation; this switch may result from decreased temperature and/or increased salinity over the Aegean sea.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012