thermocline

thermoclinal, adj.
/therr"meuh kluyn'/, n.
a layer of water in an ocean or certain lakes, where the temperature gradient is greater than that of the warmer layer above and the colder layer below. Cf. epilimnion, hypolimnion.
[1895-1900; THERMO- + Gk klíne bed]

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      oceanic water layer in which water temperature decreases rapidly with increasing depth. A widespread permanent thermocline exists beneath the relatively warm, well-mixed surface layer, from depths of about 200 m (660 feet) to about 1,000 m (3,000 feet), in which interval temperatures diminish steadily. The deep waters below the thermocline layer decrease in temperature much more gradually toward the seafloor. In latitudes marked by distinct seasons, a seasonal thermocline at much shallower depths forms during the summer as a result of solar heating, and it is destroyed by diminished insolation and increased surface turbulence during the winter. Water density is governed by temperature and salinity; consequently, the thermocline coincides generally with the pycnocline, or layer in which density increases rapidly with depth. The middle layer of water in a lake or reservoir during the summer is also called a thermocline.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • thermocline — [ tɛrmoklin ] n. f. • 1964; de thermo et gr. klinein « incliner » ♦ Géophys. Couche d eau marine à fort gradient vertical de température, entre l eau chaude de surface et l eau froide des fonds. ● thermocline nom féminin Couche d eau marine ou… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • thermocline — 1898, from THERMO (Cf. thermo ) + cline, from Gk. klinein to slope (see LEAN (Cf. lean) (v.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • thermocline — [thʉr′mə klīn΄] n. [ THERMO + cline, as in ANTICLINE] a layer of water between the warmer, surface zone and the colder, deep water zone in a thermally stratified body of water, in which the temperature decreases rapidly with depth …   English World dictionary

  • Thermocline — Aquatic layers Pelagic    Photic       Epipelagic …   Wikipedia

  • Thermocline — La thermocline est la zone de transition thermique rapide entre les eaux superficielles et les eaux profondes. Pour la faune, quand elle est très marquée, la thermocline peut être un écotone, voire jouer le rôle d une véritable barrière, surtout… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • thermocline — ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˌklīn noun ( s) Etymology: therm + cline 1. : a temperature gradient; especially : one marking sharp change 2. : a layer of water in a thermally stratified lake or other body of water separating an upper warmer lighter oxygen rich zone… …   Useful english dictionary

  • thermocline — noun Date: 1898 the region in a thermally stratified body of water which separates warmer surface water from cold deep water and in which temperature decreases rapidly with depth …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • thermocline — the zone of rapidly changing temperature between the warm upper layer (epilimnion) and the lower cold layer (hypolimnion). Characterized by a temperature change of 1C° or more per metre …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • thermocline — n. [Gr. therme, heat; klinein, to slope] In the strata of rapidly changing temperatures in lakes, the narrow dividing stratum between the epilimnion and hypolimnion …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • thermocline — noun A layer within a body of water or air where the temperature changes rapidly with depth …   Wiktionary

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