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Evolution of Oceanic Near-Surface Stratification in Response to an Autumn Storm
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Number of Authors: 72019 (English)In: Journal of Physical Oceanography, ISSN 0022-3670, E-ISSN 1520-0485, Vol. 49, no 11, p. 2961-2978Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding the processes that control the evolution of the ocean surface boundary layer (OSBL) is a prerequisite for obtaining accurate simulations of air-sea fluxes of heat and trace gases. Observations of the rate of dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy (epsilon), temperature, salinity, current structure, and wave field over a period of 9.5 days in the northeast Atlantic during the Ocean Surface Mixing, Ocean Submesoscale Interaction Study (OSMOSIS) are presented. The focus of this study is a storm that passed over the observational area during this period. The profiles of epsilon in the OSBL are consistent with profiles from large-eddy simulation (LES) of Langmuir turbulence. In the transition layer (TL), at the base of the OSBL, epsilon was found to vary periodically at the local inertial frequency. A simple bulk model of the OSBL and a parameterization of shear driven turbulence in the TL are developed. The parameterization of epsilon is based on assumptions about the momentum balance of the OSBL and shear across the TL. The predicted rate of deepening, heat budget, and the inertial currents in the OSBL were in good agreement with the observations, as is the agreement between the observed value of epsilon and that predicted using the parameterization. A previous study reported spikes of elevated dissipation related to enhanced wind shear alignment at the base of the OSBL after this storm. The spikes in dissipation are not predicted by this new parameterization, implying that they are not an important source of dissipation during the storm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 49, no 11, p. 2961-2978
Keywords [en]
Boundary layer, Diapycnal mixing, Langmuir circulation, Oceanic mixed layer, Thermocline
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176597DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-19-0007.1ISI: 000494661400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176597DiVA, id: diva2:1376961
Available from: 2019-12-10 Created: 2019-12-10 Last updated: 2019-12-10Bibliographically approved

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