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.

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

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  • 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

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