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An historical perspective on the development of the thermodynamic equation of seawater - 2010

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-22, 03:12 authored by Pawlowicz, R, McDougall, T, Feistel, R, Tailleux, R
Oceanography is concerned with understanding the mechanisms controlling the movement of seawater and its contents. A fundamental tool in this process is the characterization of the thermophysical properties of seawater as functions of measured temperature and electrical conductivity, the latter used as a proxy for the concentration of dissolved matter in seawater. For many years a collection of algorithms denoted the Equation of State 1980 (EOS-80) has been the internationally accepted standard for calculating such properties. However, modern measurement technology now allows routine observations of temperature and electrical conductivity to be made to at least one order of magnitude more accurately than the uncertainty in this standard. Recently, a new standard has been developed, the Thermodynamical Equation of Seawater 2010 (TEOS-10). This new standard is thermodynamically consistent, valid over a wider range of temperature and salinity, and includes a mechanism to account for composition variations in seawater. Here we review the scientific development of this standard, and describe the literature involved in its development, which includes many of the articles in this special issue.


Publication title

Ocean Science








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Copernicus GmbH

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)

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