Based on the equation of the state of seawater, the potential spicity is defined on the potential temperature and salinity space at sea surface pressure. In the left panel, black contours are the potential density and red contours are the potential spicity. The right panel shows the angle deviation from orthogonality between the potential density and potential spicity. Credit: Huang et al., 2018, Figure 5
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Huang et al. [2018] present a pioneering work pointing to an important problem of physical oceanography. The concept of potential spicity or spiciness which is desired to be orthogonal to the potential density in the potential temperature-salinity space has been discussed for nearly half a century. The potential density–potential spicity coordinate provides a new diagnostic tool for water mass analysis in the world’s oceans. Particularly, the orthogonality of the coordinate enables a definition of the distance between water masses and thus the radius of signal and radius of the state. The potential spicity proposed in this study is significant progress and can be widely used in oceanography.

Citation: Huang, R. X., Yu, L.S., & Zhou, S.Q. [2018]. New definition of potential spicity by the least square method. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123.

—Lei Zhou, Editor, JGR: Oceans

Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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