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Marine Oceanic Epipelagic Pycnocline (Water Column Layer)

Component: Layer

Unique Identifier: 621

Water Column Layer Marine Oceanic Epipelagic Pycnocline


Description
Definition Within the Epipelagic Layer, the Marine Oceanic Epipelagic Pycnocline is the zone of maximum vertical change in density of the water normally due to a salinity or temperature gradient, which segregates the water column into two distinct layers that are of relatively homogeneous density. The presence of a pycnocline provides a barrier to mixing between the upper and lower water columns, and this layer enhances the stability of the water column preventing mixing to the bottom.