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New equation of state of seawater
Date:2/5/2009

pressure, have served the oceanographic community well for three decades, along with a number of other equations formed to incorporate more accurate representations of seawater measurements and algorithms.

"With the advancements in high speed computer processing, and progress in other scientific disciplines, the need for a new equation of state was imminent," said Millero. "These developments, along with scientific demand for more accurate equations and the emphasis on the ocean as an integral part of the global heat engine, have lent weight to a series of recently published papers utilizing increasingly precise formulas that we are hoping will be adopted universally within the next year or so."

The new equation of state is a free energy function that can yield all the thermodynamic values of seawater of known temperature, salinity and pressure. This is more convenient than EOS-80 for modelers who examine the theoretical properties of seawater. Dr. Rainer Reistel, from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Germany, is widely recognized as the pioneer in developing the new free energy function.

In 2005, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the International Association of Physical Sciences of the Ocean (IAPSO) established Working Group 127 on the "Thermodynamics and Equation of State of Seawater," or simply WG127. Since then this group has arrived at a series of algorithms that incorporate oceanography's best knowledge of seawater thermodynamics. The approach taken by WG127 has been to develop a Gibbs function from which all the thermodynamic properties of seawater can be derived by purely mathematical manipulations. This method ensures that the various thermodynamic properties are self-consistent and complete. Named for physical chemist G. N. Gibbs, who developed free energy equations that can be used to study the thermodynamic properties of fluids. The new equation of state is based on a Gibbs function fo
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Contact: Barbra Gonzalez
barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4704
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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