The equatorial thermocline

S. G.H. Philander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the temporary absence of surface winds, density gradients in the ocean can give rise to an eastward equatorial current which has a width, depth and maximum speed comparable to that of the equatorial undercurrent. This is offered as an explanation for the deeper of the two eastward currents (the one in the thermocline) which Hisard, Merle and Voituriez (1970) observed at the equator in the western Pacific. It also explains the eastward surface current observed at the equator when the trade winds are weak or absent. One striking feature of the meridional circulation is the occurrence of downwelling. It is suggested that this accounts for the downward spreading of the equatorial thermocline and for the deep penetration of water of high oxygen and low phosphate concentration at the equator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-86
Number of pages18
JournalDeep-Sea Research and Oceanographic Abstracts
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1973

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The equatorial thermocline'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this