HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Ph.D. Oceanography/Marine Biology


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Dayton E. Carritt

Second Advisor

William S. Richardson

Third Advisor

Pearn P. Niiler

Fourth Advisor

Roy C. Herndon

Fifth Advisor

Joel Warren


A system for obtaining and analyzing sea water samples for dissolved argon, nitrogen and oxygen concentration has been built and used to analyze a suite of twenty-four samples from the Florida Current salinity maximum at 26°5.5' N and 79°57.5' W. Twenty-one samples are between 19 - 22° C, and three lie below that range; twenty-three samples are in the range of 36.30 - 36.45 parts per thousand salinity, and one is below it. All oxygen concentrations are undersaturated, and oxygen saturation decreases with decreasing temperature, in agreement with other studies on the warm water circulation of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The mean argon saturation is 102.7%, and the mean nitrogen saturation is 102.5%. The standard deviation of argon and nitrogen saturations is 4.0% and 4.3% respectively. In spite of these large natural deviations, for each gas the per cent saturations within the bottles of a cast are correlated, so that variation from cast means is significantly less than the variation of all samples from the grand mean. Also, certain consecutive cast means are correlated for all three gases. From the structure of these correlations it is concluded that the high salinity water has a gas concentration structure which is characterized by significant deviations from the long term mean. For this study in the Florida Current, a minimum longitudinal scale for inhomogeneity of deviations is ≤20 km; a maximum longitudinal scale for constant value of the deviation is ≥20 km; and the vertical scale can be at least 30 m. The correlation of argon and nitrogen concentration pairs indicates the solution of air in waters very near saturation.


Research funded by the Office of Naval Research through contract number ONR-N-00014-67-A- 0386-0001.

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