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Regional Climatology: The Gulf of Mexico


Note: This is a preliminary version of the regional climatology which will be replaced. Many more data have been added to the World Ocean Database since work on the regional climatology commenced. The climatology will be recalculated using these new data.

Climatologies updated 10/05/2011. Previous climatologies contained incorrect depth values for temperature and salinity at one-degree and one quarter-degree grids. One tenth degree climatologies were also updated.


A set of mean fields for temperature, salinity, oxygen, phosphate, silicate, and nitrate for the Gulf of Mexico and environs are available for viewing and download.

Area: The area encompassed is from 98.0 Wo to 75.0 Wo longitude and from 15.0 No to 35.0 No latitudes. This includes the entire Gulf of Mexico, the Northern Caribbean Sea, a small part of the western Atlantic along the US coast and a small part of the Pacific Ocean along the Mexican coast.

Horizontal resolution: All variables are available on a 1x1 latitude/longitude grid. Temperature and salinity are also available on a 1/4 degree grid, and for the 1/10th degree grid for some compositing periods.

Time resolution: All climatologies for all variables use all available data regardless of year of measurement. Climatologies were calculated for the annual (all-data), seasonal, and monthly time periods. Seasons are as follows: Winter (Jan.-Mar.), Spring (Apr.-Jun.), Summer (Jul.-Sep.), Fall (Oct.-Dec.). 1/4 degree and 1/10th degree climatologies are available for temperature and salinity only for the annual and seasonal compositing periods.

Vertical resolution: Oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, and silicate are available on 33 standard levels from the surface to 5500 m. depth (Table 1a) for the annual time period and to various depths for seasonal and monthly time periods as per Table 1a.

Table 1 a

LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m)
10 8125 15600 221300 293500 367000
210 9150 16700 231400 304000 377500
320 10200 17800 241500 314500 388000
430 11250 18900 251750 325000 398500
550 12300 191000 262000 335500 409000
675 13400 201100 272500 346000   
7100 14500 211200 283000 356500   

Temperature and salinity are available on 102 standard levels with higher vertical resolution, also from the surface to 5500 m. (Table 1b) depth for annual and seasonal time periods, and from the surface to 1500 m. (57 standard levels) for the monthly time period.

Table 1 b

LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m) LevelDepth (m)
10 24175 471000 702300 934600 1166900
25 25200 481050 712400 944700 1177000
310 26225 491100 722500 954800 1187100
415 27250 501150 732600 964900 1197200
520 28275 511200 742700 975000 1207300
625 29300 521250 752800 985100 1217400
730 30325 531300 762900 995200 1227500
835 31350 541350 773000 1005300 1237600
940 32375 551400 783100 1015400 1247700
1045 33400 561450 793200 1025500 1257800
1150 34425 571500 803300 1035600 1267900
1255 35450 581550 813400 1045700 1278000
1360 36475 591600 823500 1055800 1288100
1465 37500 601650 833600 1065900 1298200
1570 38550 611700 843700 1076000 1308300
1675 39600 621750 853800 1086100 1318400
1780 40650 631800 863900 1096200 1328500
1885 41700 641850 874000 1106300 1338600
1990 42750 651900 884100 1116400 1348700
2095 43800 661950 894200 1126500 1358800
21100 44850 672000 904300 1136600 1368900
22125 45900 682100 914400 1146700 1379000
23150 46950 692200 924500 1156800   

Additional fields: In addition to climatological mean fields, fields of statistical means (before objective analysis), standard deviation, standard error, data distribution, observed minus analyzed, and difference of time period from annual climatological mean, are also available.

Units: Temperature units are oC. Salinity is unitless on the Practical Salinity Scale-1978 [PSS], oxygen units are ml/l, phosphate, nitrate, and silicate units are micromoles/liter.

Data used: All data from the area found in the World Ocean Database (WOD) as of the end of 2010. For a description of this dataset, please see World Ocean Database 2009 Introduction (pdf, 3.40 MB).

Bathymetry used: For the one-degree and 1/4-degree climatologies, the mean value within a grid square from the ETOPO2 was used. For the 1/10th-degree climatologies, the mean value within a grid square from the ETOPO1 was used.

Method: The method followed for calculation of the mean climatological fields is as detailed in the following publications: Temperature: Locarnini et al., 2010, Salinity: Antonov et al., 2010, Oxygen: Garcia, et al., 2010a, Phosphate, Silicate, Nitrate: Garcia et al.., 2010b.

Additional details on the 1/4 degree climatological calculation are found in Boyer et al., 2005.

The table from this publication giving radius of influence for the analysis procedure can be filled out with values for the 1/10th degree procedure as follows:

Pass1-deg radius of influence1/4-deg radius of influence1/10th deg radius of influence
1892 km321 km253 km
2669 km267 km198 km
3446 km214 km154 km

Data formats: data are presented in a comma separated value (csv) format which gives lat/lon of the center of a grid box and the value at each depth in that grid box. Data are also presented in an ArcGIS compatible format and in netCDF.

References:

Antonov, J. I., D. Seidov, T. P. Boyer, R. A. Locarnini, A. V. Mishonov, H. E. Garcia, O. K. Baranova, M. M. Zweng, and D. R. Johnson, 2010: World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 2: Salinity. S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 69, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 184 pp.

Boyer, T., S. Levitus, H. Garcia, R. A. Locarnini, C. Stephens, J. Antonov, 2005: Objective analyses of annual, seasonal, and monthly temperature and salinity for the world ocean on a 0.25 degree grid. Int. J. Clim., 25, 931-945.

Boyer, T. P., J. I. Antonov , O. K. Baranova, H. E. Garcia, D. R. Johnson, R. A. Locarnini, A. V. Mishonov, T. D. OBrien, D. Seidov, I. V. Smolyar, M. M. Zweng, 2009: World Ocean Database 2009. S. Levitus, Ed., NOAA Atlas NESDIS 66, U.S. Gov. Printing Office, Wash., D.C., 216 pp.

Locarnini, R. A., A. V. Mishonov, J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, H. E. Garcia, O. K. Baranova, M. M. Zweng, and D. R. Johnson, 2010: World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 1: Temperature. S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 68, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 184 pp.

Garcia, H. E., R. A. Locarnini, T. P. Boyer, J. I. Antonov, O. K. Baranova, M. M. Zweng, and D. R. Johnson, 2010a. World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 3: Dissolved Oxygen, Apparent Oxygen Utilization, and Oxygen Saturation. S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 70, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 344 pp.

Garcia, H. E., R. A. Locarnini, T. P. Boyer, J. I. Antonov, M. M. Zweng, O. K. Baranova, and D. R. Johnson, 2010b. World Ocean Atlas 2009, Volume 4: Nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, silicate). S. Levitus, Ed. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 71, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 398 pp.



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