The Total Exchange Flow analysis framework computes consistent bulk values quantifying the estuarine exchange flow using salinity coordinates since salinity is the main contributor to density in estuaries and the salinity budget is entirely controlled by the exchange flow. For deeper and larger estuaries temperature may contribute equally or even more to the density. That is why we included potential temperature as a second coordinate to the Total Exchange Flow analysis framework, which allows gaining insights in the potential temperature‐salinity structure of the exchange flow as well as to compute consistent bulk potential temperature and therefore heat exchange values with the ocean. We applied this theory to the exchange flow of the Persian Gulf, a shallow, semienclosed marginal sea, where dominant evaporation leads to the formation of hypersaline and dense Gulf water. This drives an inverse estuarine circulation which is analyzed with special interest on the seasonal cycle of the exchange flow. The exchange flow of the Persian Gulf is numerically simulated with the General Estuarine Transport Model from 1993 to 2016 and validated against observations. Results show that a clear seasonal cycle exists with stronger exchange flow rates in the first half of the year. Furthermore, the composition of the outflowing water is investigated using passive tracers, which mark different surface waters. The results show that in the first half of the year, most outflowing water comes from the southern coast, while in the second half most water originates from the northwestern region.
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