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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Richard Hobbs

Banyte, D., Morales Maqueda, M., Hobbs, R., Smeed, D. A., Megann, A. & Recalde, S. (2018). Geothermal heating in the Panama Basin. Part I: hydrography of the basin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123(10): 7382-7392.

Author(s) from Durham


The Panama Basin serves as a laboratory to investigate abyssal water upwelling. The basin has only a single abyssal water inflow pathway through the narrow Ecuador Trench. The estimated critical inflow through the Trench reaches 0.34 ± 0.07 m s−1, resulting in an abyssal water volume inflow of 0.29 ± 0.07 Sv. The same trench carries the return flow of basin waters that starts just 200 m above the bottom and is approximately 400 m deeper than the depth of the next possible deep water exchange pathway at the Carnegie Ridge Saddle. The curvature of temperature‐salinity diagrams is used to differentiate the effect of geothermal heating on the deep Panama Basin waters that was found to reach as high as 2200 m depth, which is about 500 m above the upper boundary of the abyssal water layer.