Mean surface salinity
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Adapted from Vidal-Vijande, E., et al., Analysis of a 44-Year Hindcast for the Mediterranean Sea: Comparison with altimetry and in situ data.
Uploaded 19 Nov 2013
Schematically, the Mediterranean Sea comprises three main water
masses (EEA and UNEP 1999):
• the Modified Atlantic Water (MAW), found in the surface layer,
with a thickness of 50–200 m and characterised by a salinity
of 36,2 psu (practical salinity units) near Gibraltar to 38,6 psu in the Levantine basin;
• the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW), formed in the Levantine basin, lying in depth between 200 and 800 m, and
characterised by temperatures of 13–15,5°C and salinity of 38,4–39,1 psu;
• the Mediterranean Deep Water (MDW), formed in both the Western and Eastern basins. The Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW) is characterised by a temperature of 12,7°C and a salinity of 38,4 psu, while the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water (EMDW) is characterised by a temperature of 13,6°C and a salinity of 38,7 psu.