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Water Mass (Hydroform Class)

Component: Hydroform

Unique Identifier: 674

Hydroform Class Water Mass
Hydroform Background Mesoscale Field
Fumarole Plume
Hydrothermal Plume
Mesoscale Lens
Microscale Lens
Winter Water Mass

Definition The Water Mass Hydroform Class refers to a parcel of water with homogeneous properties (e.g., chemical, physical). If no other hydroform applies (or sufficient information is not available to classify the hydroform), the default would be a water mass that describes the general properties of the parcel. Any physicochemical property (or properties) can define a water mass. Common water mass types are those of homogeneous salinity, temperature or density—or a combination of those properties. The properties of a water mass generally change relatively slowly, because the factors that created and constrain the homogeneity tend to be buffered by the inertial properties of water itself. Thermal mass of water, for example, means that the water temperature will change much more slowly than air temperature. Non-conservative properties (such as nutrient concentration or pH) can change much more quickly, because biological processes can alter them.