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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 40 (2010): 2605–2623, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4132.1.
    Description: Steady scale-invariant solutions of a kinetic equation describing the statistics of oceanic internal gravity waves based on wave turbulence theory are investigated. It is shown in the nonrotating scale-invariant limit that the collision integral in the kinetic equation diverges for almost all spectral power-law exponents. These divergences come from resonant interactions with the smallest horizontal wavenumbers and/or the largest horizontal wavenumbers with extreme scale separations. A small domain is identified in which the scale-invariant collision integral converges and numerically find a convergent power-law solution. This numerical solution is close to the Garrett–Munk spectrum. Power-law exponents that potentially permit a balance between the infrared and ultraviolet divergences are investigated. The balanced exponents are generalizations of an exact solution of the scale-invariant kinetic equation, the Pelinovsky–Raevsky spectrum. A small but finite Coriolis parameter representing the effects of rotation is introduced into the kinetic equation to determine solutions over the divergent part of the domain using rigorous asymptotic arguments. This gives rise to the induced diffusion regime. The derivation of the kinetic equation is based on an assumption of weak nonlinearity. Dominance of the nonlocal interactions puts the self-consistency of the kinetic equation at risk. However, these weakly nonlinear stationary states are consistent with much of the observational evidence.
    Description: This research is supported by NSF CMG Grants 0417724, 0417732 and 0417466. YL is also supported by NSF DMS Grant 0807871 and ONR Award N00014-09-1-0515.
    Keywords: Waves ; Oceanic ; Internal waves ; Spectral analysis
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1992
    Description: Oceanic profiles of temperature, salinity, horizontal velocity, rate of dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy (ε) and rate of dissipation of thermal variance (χ) are used to examine the parameterization of turbulent mixing in the ocean due to internal waves. Turbulent mixing is quantified through eddy diffusivity parameterizations of the mass (Kρ; Osborn, 1980) and heat fluxes (Kτ; Osborn and Cox, 1972) in turbulent production/dissipation balances. Turbulence in the ocean is generally held to result from the occurrence of shear instability in regions where the Richardson number is locally supercritical (i.e. Ri ≤ 1/4), permitting the growth of small-scale waves which break and result in turbulent mixing. The occurrence of shear instability results from the local intensification of the shear in the internal wave field. The energy dissipated in such events is provided by the energy flux to higher wavenumber due to nonlinear wave/wave interactions on scales of 10's to 100's of meters. In turn, the strength of the wave/wave interactions depends generally on the energy content of the internal wave field, which can vary considerably over even larger scales due to the presence of topography or background flows. The magnitude of turbulent mixing is linked to internal wave dynamics by equating the turbulent dissipation with the energy flux through the vertical wavenumber spectrum under the priviso that the model spectrum which forms the basis for the analysis is statistically stationary with respect to the nonlinear interactions. Dynamical models (McComas and Muller, 1981; Henyey et al., 1986) indicate that the Garrett and Munk (GM; Munk, 1981) spectrum is stationary. Observations from the far field of a seamount in a region of negligible large-scale flow were examined to address the issue of the buoyancy scaling of ε. These data exhibited large variations in background stratification with depth, but the internal wave characteristics were not substantially differentiable from the GM prescription. The magnitude of ε and its functional dependence upon internal wave energy levels (E) and buoyancy frequency (N) was best described by the dynamical model ofHenyey et al. (1986) (ε ~ E2N2). The Richardson number scaling model of Kunze et al. (1990) produced consistent estimates. A second dynamical model, McComas and Muller (1981), predicted an appropriate (E,N) scaling, but overestimated the observed dissipation rates by a factor of five. Two kinematical dissipation parameterizations (Garmett and Holloway (1984) and Munk (1981)) predicted buoyancy scalings of N3/2 which were inconsistent with the observed scaling. Data from an upper-ocean front, a warm core ring and a region of steep topography were analyzed in order to examine the parameter dependence of E in internal wave fields which exhibited potentially nonstationary characteristics. Evidence was provided which implied the internal wave field in an upper ocean front was interacting with and modified by the background flow. Inhomogeneity and anisotropy of the internal wave field were noted in that data set. The model of Gregg (1989), which in turn was based upon the model of Henyey et al., effectively collapsed the observed diffusivity estimates from the front. The warm core ring profiles were noted to be anisotropic, dominated by near-inertial frequencies and to have a peaked vertical wavenumber shear spectrum. The data from a region of steep topography were noted to have a peaked vertical wavenumber spectrum and were characterized by higher than GM frequency motions. For the latter two data sets, application of a frequency based correction to the Henyey et al. model (Henyey, 1991) reduced more than an order of magnitude scatter in the parameterized estimates of E to less than a factor of four. Of the possible non-equilibrium conditions in the internal wave field, the (E,N) scaled dissipation rates were most sensitive to deviations in wave field frequency content. On the basis of a number of theoretical Richardson number probability distributions (Ri = N2/S2, where S2 is the sum of the squared vertical derivatives of horizontal velocity), the nominal dissipation scaling of the Kunze et al. model was determined to be E2N3. This scaling is altered to the observed ε ~ E2N2 scaling by a statistical dependence between N2 and S2 which reduces the occurrence of supercritical Ri values. This statistical dependence is hypothesized to be an effect of the turbulent momentum and buoyancy fluxes on the internal wave shear and strain profiles caused by shear instability. The statistical dependence between N2 and S2 exhibited a buoyancy scaling which was interpreted as resulting from the decreasing ratio between the time scale of the shear instability mechanism [T- 2π/N] and the adiabatic time scale [T - 2π/(Nf)1/2] of the internal wave field (f is the Coriolis parameter). This phenomenology is interpreted in light of saturated spectral theories which suggest that the magnitude and shape of the vertical wavenumber spectrum is controlled by instability mechanisms at large wavenumber ( ≥ .1 cpm). We argue that saturated spectral theories are valid only in the limit where a separation exists between the two time scales, i.e. for large N, low internal wave frequency content, and small f. These results have immediate implications for oceanic mixing driven by internal wave motions. First, background diffusivities are small: at GM energy levels, Kρ - .03x10-4 m2/s (Kρ = .25ε/N2). Secondly, since Kρ is independent of N at constant E, some process or collection of processes must be responsible for heightened E values in the abyss if internal waves cause the 0(1-10x10-4 m2/s) diffusivities generally inferred from deep ocean hydrographic data. We view internal wave reflection and/or internal wave generation associated with topographic features to be likely candidates.
    Keywords: Turbulence ; Internal waves ; Wave functions ; Endeavor (Ship: 1976-) Cruise EN141
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 1466–1492, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0154.1.
    Description: Simultaneous full-depth microstructure measurements of turbulence and finestructure measurements of velocity and density are analyzed to investigate the relationship between turbulence and the internal wave field in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. These data reveal a systematic near-bottom overprediction of the turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate by finescale parameterization methods in select locations. Sites of near-bottom overprediction are typically characterized by large near-bottom flow speeds and elevated topographic roughness. Further, lower-than-average shear-to-strain ratios indicative of a less near-inertial wave field, rotary spectra suggesting a predominance of upward internal wave energy propagation, and enhanced narrowband variance at vertical wavelengths on the order of 100 m are found at these locations. Finally, finescale overprediction is typically associated with elevated Froude numbers based on the near-bottom shear of the background flow, and a background flow with a systematic backing tendency. Agreement of microstructure- and finestructure-based estimates within the expected uncertainty of the parameterization away from these special sites, the reproducibility of the overprediction signal across various parameterization implementations, and an absence of indications of atypical instrument noise at sites of parameterization overprediction, all suggest that physics not encapsulated by the parameterization play a role in the fate of bottom-generated waves at these locations. Several plausible underpinning mechanisms based on the limited available evidence are discussed that offer guidance for future studies.
    Description: The SOFine project is funded by the United Kingdom’s Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) (Grant NE/G001510/1). SW acknowledges the support of anARCDiscovery Early CareerResearchAward (Grant DE120102927), as well as the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (Grant CE110001028). ACNG acknowledges the support of a NERC Advanced Research Fellowship (Grant NE/C517633/1).KLP acknowledges support fromWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds.
    Description: 2014-11-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Internal waves ; Small scale processes ; Turbulence ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; In situ oceanic observations ; Profilers, oceanic
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119 (2014): 1383–1419, doi:10.1002/2013JC008979.
    Description: This article (1) reviews and clarifies the basic physics underpinning finescale parameterizations of turbulent dissipation due to internal wave breaking and (2) provides advice on the implementation of the parameterizations in a way that is most consistent with the underlying physics, with due consideration given to common instrumental issues. Potential biases in the parameterization results are discussed in light of both (1) and (2), and illustrated with examples in the literature. The value of finescale parameterizations for studies of the large-scale ocean circulation in the presence of common biases is assessed. We conclude that the parameterizations can contribute significantly to the resolution of large-scale circulation problems associated with plausible ranges in the rates of turbulent dissipation and diapycnal mixing spanning an order of magnitude or more.
    Description: K.L.P.’s salary support for this analysis was provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds and NSF grant OCE- 0926848. A.C.N.G. was supported by a NERC Advanced Research Fellowship (NE/C517633/1), T.N.H. by a National Oceanography Centre, Southampton PhD studentship, B.M.S. by the Australian Climate Change Science Program and CSIRO Wealth from Ocean National Research Flagship, and S.W. by Australian Research Council grants DE120102927 and CE110001028.
    Description: 2014-08-25
    Keywords: Mixing parameterizations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 2475–2489, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-057.1.
    Description: Data from three midlatitude, month-long surveys are examined for evidence of enhanced vertical mixing associated with the transition layer (TL), here defined as the strongly stratified layer that exists between the well mixed layer and the thermocline below. In each survey, microstructure estimates of turbulent dissipation were collected concurrently with fine-structure stratification and shear. Survey-wide averages are formed in a “TL coordinate” zTL, which is referenced around the depth of maximum stratification for each profile. Averaged profiles show characteristic TL structures such as peaks in stratification N2 and shear variance S2, which fall off steeply above zTL = 0 and more gradually below. Turbulent dissipation rates ɛ are 5–10 times larger than those found in the upper thermocline (TC). The gradient Richardson number Ri = N2/S2 becomes unstable (Ri 〈 0.25) within ~10 m of the TL upper boundary, suggesting that shear instability is active in the TL for zTL 〉 0. Ri is stable for zTL ≤ 0. Turbulent dissipation is found to scale exponentially with depth for zTL ≤ 0, but the decay scales are different for the TL and upper TC: ɛ scales well with either N2 or S2. Owing to the strong correlation between S2 and N2, existing TC scalings of the form ɛ ~ |S|p|N|q overpredict variations in ɛ. The scale dependence of shear variance is not found to significantly affect the scalings of ɛ versus N2 and S2 for zTL ≤ 0. However, the onset of unstable Ri at the top of the TL is sensitively dependent to the resolution of the shears.
    Description: This work was funded by NSF Grant OCE-0968787 as part of a Climate Process Team for internal wave-driven mixing.
    Keywords: Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Diapycnal mixing ; Mixed layer ; Thermocline ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Heat budgets/fluxes ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; In situ oceanic observations ; Profilers, oceanic
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-12-30
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 2938–2950, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0201.1.
    Description: Direct observations in the Southern Ocean report enhanced internal wave activity and turbulence in a kilometer-thick layer above rough bottom topography collocated with the deep-reaching fronts of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Linear theory, corrected for finite-amplitude topography based on idealized, two-dimensional numerical simulations, has been recently used to estimate the global distribution of internal wave generation by oceanic currents and eddies. The global estimate shows that the topographic wave generation is a significant sink of energy for geostrophic flows and a source of energy for turbulent mixing in the deep ocean. However, comparison with recent observations from the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean shows that the linear theory predictions and idealized two-dimensional simulations grossly overestimate the observed levels of turbulent energy dissipation. This study presents two- and three-dimensional, realistic topography simulations of internal lee-wave generation from a steady flow interacting with topography with parameters typical of Drake Passage. The results demonstrate that internal wave generation at three-dimensional, finite bottom topography is reduced compared to the two-dimensional case. The reduction is primarily associated with finite-amplitude bottom topography effects that suppress vertical motions and thus reduce the amplitude of the internal waves radiated from topography. The implication of these results for the global lee-wave generation is discussed.
    Description: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation under Award CMG-1024198.
    Description: 2015-05-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Internal waves ; Mixing ; Mountain waves ; Topographic effects ; Waves, oceanic
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-08-01
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120 (2015): 7997–8019, doi:10.1002/2015JC010892.
    Description: This paper examines two internal lee wave closures that have been used together with ocean models to predict the time-averaged global energy conversion rate into lee waves and dissipation rate associated with lee waves and topographic blocking: the Garner (2005) scheme and the Bell (1975) theory. The closure predictions in two Southern Ocean regions where geostrophic flows dominate over tides are examined and compared to microstructure profiler observations of the turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate, where the latter are assumed to reflect the dissipation associated with topographic blocking and generated lee wave energy. It is shown that when applied to these Southern Ocean regions, the two closures differ most in their treatment of topographic blocking. For several reasons, pointwise validation of the closures is not possible using existing observations, but horizontally averaged comparisons between closure predictions and observations are made. When anisotropy of the underlying topography is accounted for, the two horizontally averaged closure predictions near the seafloor are approximately equal. The dissipation associated with topographic blocking is predicted by the Garner (2005) scheme to account for the majority of the depth-integrated dissipation over the bottom 1000 m of the water column, where the horizontally averaged predictions lie well within the spatial variability of the horizontally averaged observations. Simplifications made by the Garner (2005) scheme that are inappropriate for the oceanic context, together with imperfect observational information, can partially account for the prediction-observation disagreement, particularly in the upper water column.
    Description: National Science Foundation Grant Number: OCE-0960820; Office of Naval Research (ONR) Grant Number: N00014-11-1-0487; Australian Research Council Grant Number: (DE120102927 and CE110001028); National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Grant Number: (22R23085)
    Description: 2016-06-17
    Keywords: Mixing ; Dissipation ; Finestructure ; Internal waves ; Topographic interactions ; Microstructure
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2005. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 35 (2005): 1437-1454, doi:10.1175/JPO2763.1.
    Description: Distributions of temperature (T) and salinity (S) and their relationship in the oceans are the result of a balance between T–S variability generated at the surface by air–sea fluxes and its removal by molecular dissipation. In this paper the role of different motions in setting the cascade of T–S variance to dissipation scales is quantified using data from the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment (NATRE). The NATRE observational programs include fine- and microscale measurements and provide a snapshot of T–S variability across a wide range of scales from basin to molecular. It is found that microscale turbulence controls the rate of thermal dissipation in the thermocline. At this level the T–S relation is established through a balance between large-scale advection by the gyre circulation and small-scale turbulence. Further down, at the level of intermediate and Mediterranean waters, mesoscale eddies are the rate-controlling process. The transition between the two regimes is related to the presence of a strong salinity gradient along density surfaces associated with the outflow of Mediterranean waters. Mesoscale eddies stir this gradient and produce a rich filamentation and salinity-compensated temperature inversions: isopycnal stirring and diapycnal mixing are both required to explain the T–S relation at depth.
    Description: Office of Naval Research under Award N00014-03-1-0354.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 1854–1872, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0104.1.
    Description: The authors present inferences of diapycnal diffusivity from a compilation of over 5200 microstructure profiles. As microstructure observations are sparse, these are supplemented with indirect measurements of mixing obtained from (i) Thorpe-scale overturns from moored profilers, a finescale parameterization applied to (ii) shipboard observations of upper-ocean shear, (iii) strain as measured by profiling floats, and (iv) shear and strain from full-depth lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers (LADCP) and CTD profiles. Vertical profiles of the turbulent dissipation rate are bottom enhanced over rough topography and abrupt, isolated ridges. The geography of depth-integrated dissipation rate shows spatial variability related to internal wave generation, suggesting one direct energy pathway to turbulence. The global-averaged diapycnal diffusivity below 1000-m depth is O(10−4) m2 s−1 and above 1000-m depth is O(10−5) m2 s−1. The compiled microstructure observations sample a wide range of internal wave power inputs and topographic roughness, providing a dataset with which to estimate a representative global-averaged dissipation rate and diffusivity. However, there is strong regional variability in the ratio between local internal wave generation and local dissipation. In some regions, the depth-integrated dissipation rate is comparable to the estimated power input into the local internal wave field. In a few cases, more internal wave power is dissipated than locally generated, suggesting remote internal wave sources. However, at most locations the total power lost through turbulent dissipation is less than the input into the local internal wave field. This suggests dissipation elsewhere, such as continental margins.
    Description: This research was funded by the Climate Process Team (CPT) on internal wave–driven mixing throughNSF GrantOCE-0968721. GSC acknowledges support from NSF Grants OCE-0825266 (EXITS), OCE-1029483 (SPAM), and OCE-1029722 (MIXET). LDT and CBW acknowledge support from NSF Grant OCE-0927650. SWand ACNG acknowledge support from NERC Grant NE/G001510/1 (SOFine).
    Description: 2015-01-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Internal waves
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-06-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 417-437, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0055.1.
    Description: In the stratified ocean, turbulent mixing is primarily attributed to the breaking of internal waves. As such, internal waves provide a link between large-scale forcing and small-scale mixing. The internal wave field north of the Kerguelen Plateau is characterized using 914 high-resolution hydrographic profiles from novel Electromagnetic Autonomous Profiling Explorer (EM-APEX) floats. Altogether, 46 coherent features are identified in the EM-APEX velocity profiles and interpreted in terms of internal wave kinematics. The large number of internal waves analyzed provides a quantitative framework for characterizing spatial variations in the internal wave field and for resolving generation versus propagation dynamics. Internal waves observed near the Kerguelen Plateau have a mean vertical wavelength of 200 m, a mean horizontal wavelength of 15 km, a mean period of 16 h, and a mean horizontal group velocity of 3 cm s−1. The internal wave characteristics are dependent on regional dynamics, suggesting that different generation mechanisms of internal waves dominate in different dynamical zones. The wave fields in the Subantarctic/Subtropical Front and the Polar Front Zone are influenced by the local small-scale topography and flow strength. The eddy-wave field is influenced by the large-scale flow structure, while the internal wave field in the Subantarctic Zone is controlled by atmospheric forcing. More importantly, the local generation of internal waves not only drives large-scale dissipation in the frontal region but also downstream from the plateau. Some internal waves in the frontal region are advected away from the plateau, contributing to mixing and stratification budgets elsewhere.
    Description: A.M. was supported by the joint CSIRO-University of Tasmania Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) program and the 2009 CSIRO Wealth from Ocean Flagship Collaborative Fund. K.L.P.’s salary support was provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds. B.M.S. was supported by the Australian Climate Change Science Program.
    Description: 2016-06-07
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Southern Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Internal waves ; Mixing ; Wave properties ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; In situ oceanic observations ; Profilers, oceanic
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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