Water Mass Formation in the Gulf of Aqaba

O. Plähn1) , B. Baschek2), T. Badewien3), M. Walter4), and M. Rhein4)

1) Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel, Germany
2) Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, Canada
3) Institut für Ostseeforschung, Warnemünde, Germany
4) Institut für Umweltphysik/Ozeanographie, Universität Bremen, Germany


The formation of bottom water in the Red Sea is dominated by the outflow of dense water from the Gulf of Aqaba. During a cruise in February 1999 with RV Meteor a contamination of the chlorofluorocarbon component CFC-12 was found in the gulf characterizing the outflow water. This signal was also found at the bottom of the northern Red Sea which proves the contribution from the Gulf of Aqaba. Recently collected data in comparison with a historical data-set clarifies that open ocen convection in the northern Red Sea can be excluded, generally. The contribution from the Gulf of Suez is about one to two thirds smaller than the outflow from the Gulf of Aqaba.


O. Plähn, B.Baschek, T. Badewien, M. Walter, and M. Rhein, The importance of the Gulf of Aqaba to form Red Sea Water. J. Geophys. Res., 107 (C8), 2001.