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Title: Quantifying residual, eddy, and mean flow effects on mixing in an idealized circumpolar current

Abstract

Meridional diffusivity is assessed in this paper for a baroclinically unstable jet in a high-latitudeIdealized Circumpolar Current (ICC) using the Model for Prediction Across Scales-Ocean (MPAS-O) and the online Lagrangian In-situ Global High-performance particle Tracking (LIGHT) diagnostic via space-time dispersion of particle clusters over 120 monthly realizations of O(10 6) particles on 11 potential density surfaces. Diffusivity in the jet reaches values of O(6000 m 2 s -1) and is largest near the critical layer supporting mixing suppression and critical layer theory. Values in the vicinity of the shelf break are suppressed to O(100 m 2 s -1) due to the presence of westward slope front currents. Diffusivity attenuates less rapidly with depth in the jet than both eddy velocity and kinetic energy scalings would suggest. Removal of the mean flow via high-pass filtering shifts the nonlinear parameter (ratio of the eddy velocity to eddy phase speed) into the linear wave regime by increasing the eddy phase speed via the depth-mean flow. Low-pass filtering, in contrast, quantifies the effect of mean shear. Diffusivity is decomposed into mean flow shear, linear waves, and the residual nonhomogeneous turbulence components, where turbulence dominates and eddy-produced filamentation strained by background mean shear enhances mixing,more » accounting for ≥ 80% of the total diffusivity relative to mean shear [O(100 m 2 s -1)], linear waves [O(1000 m 2 s -1)], and undecomposed full diffusivity [O(6000 m 2 s -1)]. Finally, diffusivity parameterizations accounting for both the nonhomogeneous turbulence residual and depth variability are needed.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1369499
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-22765
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3670
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Physical Oceanography; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3670
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Wolfram, Phillip J., and Ringler, Todd D. Quantifying residual, eddy, and mean flow effects on mixing in an idealized circumpolar current. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0101.1.
Wolfram, Phillip J., & Ringler, Todd D. Quantifying residual, eddy, and mean flow effects on mixing in an idealized circumpolar current. United States. doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0101.1.
Wolfram, Phillip J., and Ringler, Todd D. 2017. "Quantifying residual, eddy, and mean flow effects on mixing in an idealized circumpolar current". United States. doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0101.1.
@article{osti_1369499,
title = {Quantifying residual, eddy, and mean flow effects on mixing in an idealized circumpolar current},
author = {Wolfram, Phillip J. and Ringler, Todd D.},
abstractNote = {Meridional diffusivity is assessed in this paper for a baroclinically unstable jet in a high-latitudeIdealized Circumpolar Current (ICC) using the Model for Prediction Across Scales-Ocean (MPAS-O) and the online Lagrangian In-situ Global High-performance particle Tracking (LIGHT) diagnostic via space-time dispersion of particle clusters over 120 monthly realizations of O(106) particles on 11 potential density surfaces. Diffusivity in the jet reaches values of O(6000 m2 s-1) and is largest near the critical layer supporting mixing suppression and critical layer theory. Values in the vicinity of the shelf break are suppressed to O(100 m2 s-1) due to the presence of westward slope front currents. Diffusivity attenuates less rapidly with depth in the jet than both eddy velocity and kinetic energy scalings would suggest. Removal of the mean flow via high-pass filtering shifts the nonlinear parameter (ratio of the eddy velocity to eddy phase speed) into the linear wave regime by increasing the eddy phase speed via the depth-mean flow. Low-pass filtering, in contrast, quantifies the effect of mean shear. Diffusivity is decomposed into mean flow shear, linear waves, and the residual nonhomogeneous turbulence components, where turbulence dominates and eddy-produced filamentation strained by background mean shear enhances mixing, accounting for ≥ 80% of the total diffusivity relative to mean shear [O(100 m2 s-1)], linear waves [O(1000 m2 s-1)], and undecomposed full diffusivity [O(6000 m2 s-1)]. Finally, diffusivity parameterizations accounting for both the nonhomogeneous turbulence residual and depth variability are needed.},
doi = {10.1175/JPO-D-16-0101.1},
journal = {Journal of Physical Oceanography},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 5
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1175/JPO-D-16-0101.1

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  • Meridional diffusivity is assessed in this paper for a baroclinically unstable jet in a high-latitudeIdealized Circumpolar Current (ICC) using the Model for Prediction Across Scales-Ocean (MPAS-O) and the online Lagrangian In-situ Global High-performance particle Tracking (LIGHT) diagnostic via space-time dispersion of particle clusters over 120 monthly realizations of O(10 6) particles on 11 potential density surfaces. Diffusivity in the jet reaches values of O(6000 m 2 s -1) and is largest near the critical layer supporting mixing suppression and critical layer theory. Values in the vicinity of the shelf break are suppressed to O(100 m 2 s -1) due tomore » the presence of westward slope front currents. Diffusivity attenuates less rapidly with depth in the jet than both eddy velocity and kinetic energy scalings would suggest. Removal of the mean flow via high-pass filtering shifts the nonlinear parameter (ratio of the eddy velocity to eddy phase speed) into the linear wave regime by increasing the eddy phase speed via the depth-mean flow. Low-pass filtering, in contrast, quantifies the effect of mean shear. Diffusivity is decomposed into mean flow shear, linear waves, and the residual nonhomogeneous turbulence components, where turbulence dominates and eddy-produced filamentation strained by background mean shear enhances mixing, accounting for ≥ 80% of the total diffusivity relative to mean shear [O(100 m 2 s -1)], linear waves [O(1000 m 2 s -1)], and undecomposed full diffusivity [O(6000 m 2 s -1)]. Finally, diffusivity parameterizations accounting for both the nonhomogeneous turbulence residual and depth variability are needed.« less
  • The exact, three-dimensional thickness-weighted averaged (TWA) Boussinesq equations are used to diagnose eddy-mean flow interaction in an idealized circumpolar current (ICC). The force exerted by mesoscale eddies on the TWA velocity is expressed as the divergence of the Eliassen-Palm flux tensor. Consistent with previous findings, the analysis indicates that the dynamically relevant definition of the ocean surface layer is comprised of the set of buoyancy coordinates that ever reside at the ocean surface at a given horizontal position. The surface layer is found to be a physically distinct object with a diabatic- and force-balance that is largely isolated from themore » underlying adiabatic region in the interior. Within the ICC surface layer, the TWA meridional velocity is southward/northward in the top/bottom half, and has a value near zero at the bottom. In the top half of the surface layer, the zonal forces due to wind stress and meridional advection of potential vorticity act to accelerate the TWA zonal velocity; equilibrium is obtained by eddies decelerating the zonal flow via a downward flux of eastward momentum that increases with depth. In the bottom half of the surface layer, the accelerating force of the wind stress is balanced by the eddy force and meridional advection of potential vorticity. The bottom of the surface layer coincides with the location where the zonal eddy force, meridional advection of potential vorticity and zonal wind stress force are all zero. The net meridional transport, S f, within the surface layer is a small residual of its southward and northward TWA meridional flows. Furthermore, the mean meridional gradient of surface-layer buoyancy is advected by S f to balance the surface buoyancy fluxs.« less
  • The exact, three-dimensional thickness-weighted averaged (TWA) Boussinesq equations are used to diagnose eddy-mean flow interaction in an idealized circumpolar current (ICC). The force exerted by mesoscale eddies on the TWA velocity is expressed as the divergence of the Eliassen-Palm flux tensor. Consistent with previous findings, the analysis indicates that the dynamically relevant definition of the ocean surface layer is comprised of the set of buoyancy coordinates that ever reside at the ocean surface at a given horizontal position. The surface layer is found to be a physically distinct object with a diabatic- and force-balance that is largely isolated from themore » underlying adiabatic region in the interior. Within the ICC surface layer, the TWA meridional velocity is southward/northward in the top/bottom half, and has a value near zero at the bottom. In the top half of the surface layer, the zonal forces due to wind stress and meridional advection of potential vorticity act to accelerate the TWA zonal velocity; equilibrium is obtained by eddies decelerating the zonal flow via a downward flux of eastward momentum that increases with depth. In the bottom half of the surface layer, the accelerating force of the wind stress is balanced by the eddy force and meridional advection of potential vorticity. The bottom of the surface layer coincides with the location where the zonal eddy force, meridional advection of potential vorticity and zonal wind stress force are all zero. The net meridional transport, S f, within the surface layer is a small residual of its southward and northward TWA meridional flows. Furthermore, the mean meridional gradient of surface-layer buoyancy is advected by S f to balance the surface buoyancy fluxs.« less
  • Hydrographic, expendable bathythermograph and 16-day current meter records are combined to describe the oceanic structure south of Australia (along 132/sup 0/E) between 24 January and 1 March 1977. A strong cyclonic eddy, containing Antarctic Surface Water from south of the Polar Front, is found to the south of and combined with a meander of the Subantarctic Front. Current meters moored in and north of the eddy indicate deep flow to the west suggesting anticyclonic circulation below 2000 m. Three thermal surveys along with current meter records document the north-northeastward movement of the eddy at an average speed of 3 cmmore » s/sup -1/. Directly measured zonal currents were highly coherent in the vertical and showed significant spectral peaks at a period of 2 days. Daily mean measured currents are shown to be highly geostrophic and geostrophic transports (relative to the bottom) give a net eastward transport through the section along 132/sup 0/E of 165 x 10/sup 6/ m/sup 3/ s/sup -1/.« less
  • Tidal residual current may play an important role in the mean flow in the Changjiang Bank region, in addition to other residual currents, such as the Taiwan Warm Current, the Yellow Sea Coastal Current, and the Yellow Sea Warm Current. In this paper, a detailed structure of the tidal residual current, in particular the meso-scale eddies, in the Changjiang Bank region is observed from model simulations, and its role in the mean flow is quantified using the well-validated Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model). The tidal residual current in the Changjiang Bank region consists of two components: an anticyclonic regional-scale tidalmore » residual circulation around the edge of the Changjiang Bank and some cyclonic meso-scale tidal residual eddies across the Changjiang Bank. The meso-scale tidal residual eddies occur across the Changjiang Bank and contribute to the regional-scale tidal residual circulation offshore at the northwest boundary and at the northeast edge of the Changjiang Bank, southeastward along the 50 m isobath. Tidal rectification is the major mechanism causing the tidal residual current to flow along the isobaths. Both components of the tidal residual current have significant effects on the mean flow. A comparison between the tidal residual current and the mean flow indicates that the contribution of the tidal residual current to the mean flow is greater than 50%.« less