In the plot, one can discern three layers:
- About 50 m of low salinity water "swimming" on top of the ocean. The temperature is -1.8 °C, which is very near to the freezing point. This layer blocks heat transfer from the warmer, deeper levels into the ice sheet, which has considerable effect on its thickness.
- About 150 m of steeply rising salinity and increasing temperature. This is the actual halocline.
- The deep layer with nearly constant salinity and slowly decreasing temperature.
A halocline can be easily created and observed in a drinking glass or other clear vessel. If fresh water is slowly poured over a quantity of salt water, using a spoon held horizontally at water-level to prevent mixing, a hazy interface layer, the halocline, will soon be visible due to the varying index of refraction across the boundary.
A halocline is most commonly confused with a thermocline - a thermocline is an area within a body of water that marks a drastic change in temperature.
Haloclines are common in water-filled caves near the ocean. Less dense fresh water from the land forms a layer over salt water from the ocean. For underwater cave explorers, this can cause the optical illusion of air space in caverns. Passing through the halocline tends to stir up the layers.
Read more about this topic: Halocline
Famous quotes containing the word description:
“I fancy it must be the quantity of animal food eaten by the English which renders their character insusceptible of civilisation. I suspect it is in their kitchens and not in their churches that their reformation must be worked, and that Missionaries of that description from [France] would avail more than those who should endeavor to tame them by precepts of religion or philosophy.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)
“A sound mind in a sound body, is a short, but full description of a happy state in this World: he that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little the better for anything else.”
—John Locke (16321704)
“I was here first introduced to Joe.... He was a good-looking Indian, twenty-four years old, apparently of unmixed blood, short and stout, with a broad face and reddish complexion, and eyes, methinks, narrower and more turned up at the outer corners than ours, answering to the description of his race. Besides his underclothing, he wore a red flannel shirt, woolen pants, and a black Kossuth hat, the ordinary dress of the lumberman, and, to a considerable extent, of the Penobscot Indian.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)