Finescale parameterizations of turbulent dissipation

  • Polzin K
  • Naveira Garabato A
  • Huussen T
 et al. 
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Abstract

Abstract Fine- and microstructure data from a free fall profiler are analysed to test models that relate the turbulent dissipation rate (ϵ) to characteristics of the internal wave field. The data were obtained from several distinct internal wave environments, yielding considerably more range in stratification and wave properties than has been previously available. Observations from the ocean interior with negligible large-scale flow were examined to address the buoyancy scaling of ϵ. These data exhibited a factor of 140 range in squared buoyancy frequency (N2) with depth and uniform internal wave characteristics, consistent with the Garrettt–Munk spectrum. The magnitude of ϵ and its variation with N(ϵ ∼ N2) was best described by the dynamical model of Henyey et al. A second dynamical model, by McComas and Muller, predicted an appropriate buoyancy scaling but overestimated the observed dissipation rates. Two kinematical dissipation parameterizations predicted buoyancy scalings of N3/2; these are shown to b...

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  • mixing parameterizations

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Authors

  • Kurt L. Polzin

  • Alberto C. Naveira Garabato

  • Tycho N. Huussen

  • Bernadette M. Sloyan

  • Stephanie Waterman

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