Fr.: convection thermohaline
An instability in the ocean water that occurs when a layer of warm salt water is above a layer of fresh cold water of slightly higher density. In this process the hot salt water cools off and then, after having reached a higher density than the fresh water, sinks down even in the presence of stabilizing temperature gradients. This phenomenon explains the large-scale water movements in the oceans called themohaline circulation. First discussed by Melvin E. Stern (1960, Tellus 12, 172). → thermohaline mixing.
Thermohaline, from → thermo- + haline, from Gk. hals (genitive halos) "salt, sea;" cf. L. sal; O.Ir. salann; Welsh halen; O.C.S. sali "salt;" O.E. sealt; cf. O.N., O.Fris., Goth. salt, Du. zout, Ger. Salz from PIE *sal- "salt."
Garmâšur, from garmâ-→ thermo- + šur "salty" (Mid.Pers. šôr "salty," šorag "salt land;" cf. Skt. ksurá- "razor, sharp knife;" Gk. ksuron "razor;" PIE base *kseu- "to rub, whet").
Fr.: mélange thermohaline
In stars, an instability phenomenon, reminiscent of the → thermohaline convection in the oceans, that takes place when layers of higher molecular weight occur above a region of lower molecular weight. A situation of heavier material being above lighter gas in a star can occur during the → helium flash when → helium burning does not start in the center but in the shell. Similarly, in → close binary systems it may happen that helium-rich material is transferred to a → main sequence star. Then a helium-rich outer layer is formed and the instability occurs at the interface between that layer and the original stellar material. This process can explain several surface abundance variations in stars. First discussed by S. Kato (1966, Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan 18, 374).