Simulations of past thermohaline circulation in Mediterranean

Bahjat Alhammoud, Paul Meijer, and Henk Dijkstra, Sensitivity of Mediterranean thermohaline circulation to gateway depth: A model investigation, Paleoceanography, doi:10.1029/2009PA001823

Sediments in the Mediterranean Sea hold evidence for changes in water properties and circulation over the last 23 million years. These are often attributed to changes in flow through the gateway between the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans. Results from a series of model simulations using various depths for the gateway show strong relationships between gateway depth and temperature, salinity, and thermohaline circulation. As the gateway becomes more shallow, the Mediterranean’s upper overturning cell weakens, while the deep cell unexpectedly intensifies. The findings may help illuminate the present and past behavior of other land-locked basins.