halocline

[hal-uh-klahyn]
noun
a well-defined vertical salinity gradient in ocean or other saline water.

Origin:
1955–60; halo- + cline

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To halocline
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
halocline   (hāl'ə-klīn')  Pronunciation Key 
A relatively sharp discontinuity in ocean salinity at a particular depth. In general, water with a higher concentration of salinity sinks below water that is less saline; therefore, saltier haloclines lie below less salty ones. An exception is the surface halocline of the Arctic Ocean, which is both colder and more saline than the warmer Atlantic water beneath it and which protects the polar ice from melting from below.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

halocline

vertical zone in the oceanic water column in which salinity changes rapidly with depth, located below the well-mixed, uniformly saline surface water layer. Especially well developed haloclines occur in the Atlantic Ocean, in which salinities may decrease by several parts per thousand from the base of the surface layer to depths of about one kilometre (3,300 feet). In higher latitudinal areas of the North Pacific in which solar heating of the surface waters is low and rainfall is abundant, salinities increase markedly with depth through the halocline layer. Pycnoclines, or layers through which water density increases rapidly with depth, accompany such haloclines inasmuch as density varies directly with total salt content.

Learn more about halocline with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The boundary between these two layers is called the halocline.
Warm water from the ocean is actually somehow mixing up in the upper layer that usually caps it called the halocline.
The halocline was coincident with the thermocline, augmenting the stability of the upper layer.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;