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  • 1
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2019-03-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2019. 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, 49 (2), (2019): 607-630, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-18-0166.1.
    Description: The Lagrangian motion in the eddy field produced from an unstable retrograde jet along the shelf break is studied from idealized numerical experiments with a primitive equation model. The jet is initially in thermal wind balance with a cross-isobath density gradient and is not subjected to any atmospheric forcing. Over the course of the model integration, the jet becomes unstable and produces a quasi-stationary eddy field over a 2-month period. During this period, the cross-slope flow at the shelf break is characterized by along-slope correlation scales of O(10) km and temporal correlation scales of a few days. The relative dispersion of parcels across isobaths is found to increase with time as tb, where 1 〈 b 〈 2. This mixed diffusive–ballistic regime appears to reflect the combined effects of (i) the short length scales of velocity correlation at the shelf break and (ii) the seaward excursion of monopolar and dipolar vortices. Cross-slope dispersion is greater offshore of the front than inshore of the front, as offshore parcels are both subducted onshore below density surfaces and translated offshore with eddies. Nonetheless, the exchange of parcels across the jet remains very limited on the monthly time scale. Particles originating from the bottom experience upward displacements of a few tens of meters and seaward displacements of O(100) km, suggesting that the eddy activity engendered by an unstable along-slope jet provides another mechanism for bottom boundary layer detachment near the shelf edge.
    Description: The author expresses his gratitude to the researchers who contributed to the development and public dissemination of POM [for a list of contributors, see Mellor (2002) and comments in the source code]. Discussions with Kenneth Brink, Hyodae Seo, and Weifeng Zhang have been helpful. Comments provided by Kenneth Brink on a draft are gratefully acknowledged. The criticism from two anonymous reviewers allowed us to better focus the manuscript and to significantly improve its clarity. This work has been supported by Grant OCE-1556400 from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Description: 2020-02-18
    Keywords: Dispersion ; Eddies ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Instability ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Jets
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-27
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018):1941-1950, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0194.1.
    Description: Subglacial discharges have been observed to generate buoyant plumes along the ice face of Greenland tidewater glaciers. These plumes have been traditionally modeled using classical plume theory, and their characteristic parameters (e.g., velocity) are employed in the widely used three-equation melt parameterization. However, the applicability of plume theory for three-dimensional turbulent wall plumes is questionable because of the complex near-wall plume dynamics. In this study, corrections to the classical plume theory are introduced to account for the presence of a wall. In particular, the drag and entrainment coefficients are quantified for a three-dimensional turbulent wall plume using data from direct numerical simulations. The drag coefficient is found to be an order of magnitude larger than that for a boundary layer flow over a flat plate at a similar Reynolds number. This result suggests a significant increase in the melting estimates by the current parameterization. However, the volume flux in a wall plume is found to be one-half that of a conical plume that has 2 times the buoyancy flux. This finding suggests that the total entrainment (per unit area) of ambient water is the same and that the plume scalar characteristics (i.e., temperature and salinity) can be predicted reasonably well using classical plume theory.
    Description: This work was supported by the Linné FLOW Centre at KTH and the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence Programme Grant 307331 (author Ezhova) and by VR Swedish Research Council GrantVR2014-5001 (author Brandt). Support to author Cenedese was given by NSF Project OCE-1434041.
    Description: 2019-02-27
    Keywords: Buoyancy ; Entrainment ; Turbulence
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-01-13
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 1555-1566, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0231.1.
    Description: A primary challenge in modeling flow over shallow coral reefs is accurately characterizing the bottom drag. Previous studies over continental shelves and sandy beaches suggest surface gravity waves should enhance the drag on the circulation over coral reefs. The influence of surface gravity waves on drag over four platform reefs in the Red Sea is examined using observations from 6-month deployments of current and pressure sensors burst sampling at 1Hz for 4–5min. Depth-average current fluctuations U0 within each burst are dominated by wave orbital velocities uw that account for 80%–90%of the burst variance and have a magnitude of order 10 cm s21, similar to the lower-frequency depth-average current Uavg. Previous studies have shown that the cross-reef bottom stress balances the pressure gradient over these reefs. A bottom stress estimate that neglects the waves (rCdaUavgjUavgj, where r is water density and Cda is a drag coefficient) balances the observed pressure gradient when uw is smaller than Uavg but underestimates the pressure gradient when uw is larger than Uavg (by a factor of 3–5 when uw 5 2Uavg), indicating the neglected waves enhance the bottom stress. In contrast, a bottom stress estimate that includes the waves [rCda(Uavg 1 U0)jUavg 1 U0j)] balances the observed pressure gradient independent of the relative size of uw and Uavg, indicating that this estimate accounts for the wave enhancement of the bottom stress. A parameterization proposed by Wright and Thompson provides a reasonable estimate of the total bottom stress (including the waves) given the burst-averaged current and the wave orbital velocity.
    Description: The Red Sea field program was supported by Awards USA 00002 and KSA 00011 made by KAUST. S. Lentz was supported for the analysis by NSF Award OCE-1558343.
    Description: 2019-01-13
    Keywords: Coastal flows ; Currents ; Dynamics ; Gravity waves ; Turbulence
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-02-15
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 1815-1830, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0275.1.
    Description: Recent progress in direct numerical simulations (DNSs) of stratified turbulent flows has led to increasing attention to the validity of the constancy of the dissipation flux coefficient Γ in the Osborn’s eddy diffusivity model. Motivated by lack of observational estimates of Γ, particularly under weakly stratified deep-ocean conditions, this study estimates Γ using deep microstructure profiles collected in various regions of the North Pacific and Southern Oceans. It is shown that Γ is not constant but varies significantly with the Ozmidov/Thorpe scale ratio ROT in a fashion similar to that obtained by previous DNS studies. Efficient mixing events with Γ ~ O(1) and ROT ~ O(0.1) tend to be frequently observed in the deep ocean (i.e., weak stratification), while moderate mixing events with Γ ~ O(0.1) and ROT ~ O(1) tend to be observed in the upper ocean (i.e., strong stratification). The observed negative relationship between Γ and ROT is consistent with a simple scaling that can be derived from classical turbulence theories. In contrast, the observed results exhibit no definite relationships between Γ and the buoyancy Reynolds number Reb, although Reb has long been thought to be another key parameter that controls Γ.
    Description: This study was supported by MEXT KAKENHI Grant JP15H05824 and JSPS KAKENHI Grant JP15H02131.
    Description: 2019-02-15
    Keywords: Abyssal circulation ; Mixing ; Subgrid-scale processes ; Turbulence ; In situ oceanic observations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-02-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 855-866, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0194.1.
    Description: Mesoscale eddies shape the Beaufort Gyre response to Ekman pumping, but their transient dynamics are poorly understood. Climate models commonly use the Gent–McWilliams (GM) parameterization, taking the eddy streamfunction to be proportional to an isopycnal slope s and an eddy diffusivity K. This local-in-time parameterization leads to exponential equilibration of currents. Here, an idealized, eddy-resolving Beaufort Gyre model is used to demonstrate that carries a finite memory of past ocean states, violating a key GM assumption. As a consequence, an equilibrating gyre follows a spiral sink trajectory implying the existence of a damped mode of variability—the eddy memory (EM) mode. The EM mode manifests during the spinup as a 15% overshoot in isopycnal slope (2000 km3 freshwater content overshoot) and cannot be explained by the GM parameterization. An improved parameterization is developed, such that is proportional to an effective isopycnal slope , carrying a finite memory γ of past slopes. Introducing eddy memory explains the model results and brings to light an oscillation with a period ≈ 50 yr, where the eddy diffusion time scale TE ~ 10 yr and γ ≈ 6 yr are diagnosed from the eddy-resolving model. The EM mode increases the Ekman-driven gyre variance by γ/TE ≈ 50% ± 15%, a fraction that stays relatively constant despite both time scales decreasing with increased mean forcing. This study suggests that the EM mode is a general property of rotating turbulent flows and highlights the need for better observational constraints on transient eddy field characteristics.
    Description: GEM acknowledges the Stanback Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund at Caltech and the Howland Postdoctoral Program Fund at WHOI. MAS was supported by NSF Grants PLR-1415489 and OCE- 1232389. AFT acknowledges support from NSF OCE- 1235488.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Parameterization ; Multidecadal variability
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-05-15
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 435-453, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0122.1.
    Description: Observations of surface waves, currents, and turbulence at the Columbia River mouth are used to investigate the source and vertical structure of turbulence in the surface boundary layer. Turbulent velocity data collected on board freely drifting Surface Wave Instrument Float with Tracking (SWIFT) buoys are corrected for platform motions to estimate turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and TKE dissipation rates. Both of these quantities are correlated with wave steepness, which has previously been shown to determine wave breaking within the same dataset. Estimates of the turbulent length scale increase linearly with distance from the free surface, and roughness lengths estimated from velocity statistics scale with significant wave height. The vertical decay of turbulence is consistent with a balance between vertical diffusion and dissipation. Below a critical depth, a power-law scaling commonly applied in the literature works well to fit the data. Above this depth, an exponential scaling fits the data well. These results, which are in a surface-following reference frame, are reconciled with results from the literature in a fixed reference frame. A mapping between free-surface and mean-surface reference coordinates suggests 30% of the TKE is dissipated above the mean sea surface.
    Description: Funding for this project was provided by the Office of Naval Research as part of the RIVET-II DRI, and for the DARLA group.
    Keywords: Ocean ; Estuaries ; Gravity waves ; Turbulence ; Wave breaking ; In situ oceanic observations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-10-19
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 905-923, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0133.1.
    Description: Observations of turbulent kinetic energy, dissipation, and turbulent stress were collected in the middle reaches of Chesapeake Bay and were used to assess second-moment closure predictions of turbulence generated beneath breaking waves. Dissipation scaling indicates that the turbulent flow structure observed during a 10-day wind event was dominated by a three-layer response that consisted of 1) a wave transport layer, 2) a surface log layer, and 3) a tidal, bottom boundary layer limited by stable stratification. Below the wave transport layer, turbulent mixing was limited by stable stratification. Within the wave transport layer, where dissipation was balanced by a divergence in the vertical turbulent kinetic energy flux, the eddy viscosity was significantly underestimated by second-moment turbulence closure models, suggesting that breaking waves homogenized the mixed surface layer to a greater extent than the simple model of TKE diffusing away from a source at the surface. While the turbulent transport of TKE occurred largely downgradient, the intermittent downward sweeps of momentum generated by breaking waves occurred largely independent of the mean shear. The underprediction of stress in the wave transport layer by second-moment closures was likely due to the inability of the eddy viscosity model to capture the nonlocal turbulent transport of the momentum flux beneath breaking waves. Finally, the authors hypothesize that large-scale coherent turbulent eddies played a significant role in transporting momentum generated near the surface to depth.
    Description: This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grants OCE-1061609 and OCE-1339032.
    Description: 2018-10-19
    Keywords: Mixing ; Turbulence ; Waves, oceanic ; Boundary layer
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 773-794, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0205.1.
    Description: Fourteen autonomous profiling floats, equipped with CTDs, were deployed in the deep eastern and western basins of the Gulf of Mexico over a four-year interval (July 2011–August 2015), producing a total of 706 casts. This is the first time since the early 1970s that there has been a comprehensive survey of water masses in the deep basins of the Gulf, with better vertical resolution than available from older ship-based surveys. Seven floats had 14-day cycles with parking depths of 1500 m, and the other half from the U.S. Argo program had varying cycle times. Maps of characteristic water masses, including Subtropical Underwater, Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), and North Atlantic Deep Water, showed gradients from east to west, consistent with their sources being within the Loop Current (LC) and the Yucatan Channel waters. Altimeter SSH was used to characterize profiles being in LC or LC eddy water or in cold eddies. The two-layer nature of the deep Gulf shows isotherms being deeper in the warm anticyclonic LC and LC eddies and shallower in the cold cyclones. Mixed layer depths have an average seasonal signal that shows maximum depths (~60 m) in January and a minimum in June–July (~20 m). Basin-mean steric heights from 0–50-m dynamic heights and altimeter SSH show a seasonal range of ~12 cm, with significant interannual variability. The translation of LC eddies across the western basin produces a region of low homogeneous potential vorticity centered over the deepest part of the western basin.
    Description: The authors were supported by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Contract M08PC20043 to Leidos, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.
    Description: 2018-10-04
    Keywords: Eddies ; Mixing ; Potential vorticity ; Surface layer ; Water masses
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2018-02-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 879-894, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0196.1.
    Description: Models show that surface cooling over a sloping continental shelf should give rise to baroclinic instability and thus tend toward gravitationally stable density stratification. Less is known about how alongshore winds affect this process, so the role of surface momentum input is treated here by means of a sequence of idealized, primitive equation numerical model calculations. The effects of cooling rate, wind amplitude and direction, bottom slope, bottom friction, and rotation rate are all considered. All model runs lead to instability and an eddy field. While instability is not strongly affected by upwelling-favorable alongshore winds, wind-driven downwelling substantially reduces eddy kinetic energy, largely because the downwelling circulation plays a similar role to baroclinic instability by flattening isotherms and so reducing available potential energy. Not surprisingly, cross-shelf winds appear to have little effect. Analysis of the model runs leads to quantitative relations for the wind effect on eddy kinetic energy for the equilibrium density stratification (which increases as the cooling rate increases) and for eddy length scale.
    Description: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Physical Oceanography Program through Grant OCE-1433953.
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Baroclinic flows ; Eddies ; Instability
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-05-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 2703-2719, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0245.1.
    Description: A new set of deep float trajectory data collected in the Gulf of Mexico from 2011 to 2015 at 1500- and 2500-m depths is analyzed to describe mesoscale processes, with particular attention paid to the western Gulf. Wavelet analysis is used to identify coherent eddies in the float trajectories, leading to a census of the basinwide coherent eddy population and statistics of the eddies’ kinematic properties. The eddy census reveals a new formation region for anticyclones off the Campeche Escarpment, located northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. These eddies appear to form locally, with no apparent direct connection to the upper layer. Once formed, the eddies drift westward along the northern edge of the Sigsbee Abyssal Gyre, located in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico over the abyssal plain. The formation mechanism and upstream sources for the Campeche Escarpment eddies are explored: the observational data suggest that eddy formation may be linked to the collision of a Loop Current eddy with the western boundary of the Gulf. Specifically, the disintegration of a deep dipole traveling under the Loop Current eddy Kraken, caused by the interaction with the northwestern continental slope, may lead to the acceleration of the abyssal gyre and the boundary current in the Bay of Campeche region.
    Description: The authors were supported by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Contract M10PC00112 to Leidos, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.
    Description: 2019-05-07
    Keywords: Abyssal circulation ; Currents ; Eddies ; Mesoscale processes ; Trajectories ; In situ oceanic observations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 11
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-06-08
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 3599-3621, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0085.1.
    Description: At continental margins, energetic deep-ocean eddies can transport shelf water offshore in filaments that wrap around the eddy. One example is that of Gulf Stream warm-core rings interacting with the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf. The rate at which shelf water is exported in these filaments is a major unknown in regional budgets of volume, heat, and salt. This unknown transport is constrained using a series of idealized primitive equation numerical experiments wherein a surface-intensified anticyclonic eddy interacts with idealized shelf–slope topography. There is no shelfbreak front in these experiments, and shelf water is tracked using a passive tracer. When anticyclones interact with shelf–slope topography, they suffer apparent intrusions of shelf–slope water, resulting in a subsurface maximum in offshore transport. The simulations help construct an approximate model for the filament of exported water that originates inshore of any given isobath. This model is then used to derive an expression for the total volume of shelf–slope water transported by the eddy across that isobath. The transport scales with water depth, radius, and azimuthal velocity scale of the eddy. The resulting expression can be used with satellite-derived eddy properties to estimate approximate real-world transports ignoring the presence of a shelfbreak front. The expression assumes that the eddy’s edge is at the shelf break, a condition not always satisfied by real eddies.
    Description: The research presented here was funded by NSF Grants OCE-1059632 and OCE-1433953. Funding support from the Academic Programs Office, and WHOI is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2017-06-08
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Advection ; Dynamics ; Eddies ; Topographic effects
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2017-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 1291-1305, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0160.1.
    Description: Along-stream variations in the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) impact heat and tracer transport, regulate interbasin exchange, and influence closure of the overturning circulation. Topography is primarily responsible for generating deviations from zonal-mean properties, mainly through standing meanders associated with regions of high eddy kinetic energy. Here, an idealized channel model is used to explore the spatial distribution of energy exchange and its relationship to eddy geometry, as characterized by both eddy momentum and eddy buoyancy fluxes. Variations in energy exchange properties occur not only between standing meander and quasi-zonal jet regions, but throughout the meander itself. Both barotropic and baroclinic stability properties, as well as the magnitude of energy exchange terms, undergo abrupt changes along the path of the ACC. These transitions are captured by diagnosing eddy fluxes of energy and by adopting the eddy geometry framework. The latter, typically applied to barotropic stability properties, is applied here in the depth–along-stream plane to include information about both barotropic and baroclinic stability properties of the flow. These simulations reveal that eddy momentum fluxes, and thus barotropic instability, play a leading role in the energy budget within a standing meander. This result suggests that baroclinic instability alone cannot capture the dynamics of ACC standing meanders, a challenge for models where eddy fluxes are parameterized.
    Description: The authors all acknowledge support from NSF OCE-1235488. MKY also acknowledges support from the AMS Graduate Student Fellowship.
    Description: 2017-10-12
    Keywords: Southern Ocean ; Channel flows ; Stability ; Topographic effects ; Eddies ; Mesoscale models
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2018-04-26
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 2611-2630, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0259.1.
    Description: This study reports the results of large-eddy simulations of an axisymmetric turbulent buoyant plume in a stratified fluid. The configuration used is an idealized model of the plume generated by a subglacial discharge at the base of a tidewater glacier with an ambient stratification typical of Greenland fjords. The plume is discharged from a round source of various diameters and characteristic stratifications for summer and winter are considered. The classical theory for the integral parameters of a turbulent plume in a homogeneous fluid gives accurate predictions in the weakly stratified lower layer up to the pycnocline, and the plume dynamics are not sensitive to changes in the source diameter. In winter, when the stratification is similar to an idealized two-layer case, turbulent entrainment and generation of internal waves by the plume top are in agreement with the theoretical and numerical results obtained for turbulent jets in a two-layer stratification. In summer, instead, the stratification is more complex and turbulent entrainment by the plume top is significantly reduced. The subsurface layer in summer is characterized by a strong density gradient and the oscillating plume generates internal waves that might serve as an indicator of submerged plumes not penetrating to the surface.
    Description: This work was supported by Linné FLOW Centre at KTH and the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence program (Grant 307331) (E. E.) and VR Swedish Research Council, Outstanding Young Researcher Award, Grant VR 2014-5001 (L. B.). Support to C. C. was given by the NSF Project OCE-1434041.
    Description: 2018-04-26
    Keywords: Buoyancy ; Internal waves ; Turbulence ; Jets ; Oscillations ; Large eddy simulations
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2017-02-19
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 2645-2662, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0191.1.
    Description: The occurrence, drivers, and implications of small-scale O(2–5) km diameter coherent vortices, referred to as submesoscale eddies, over the inner shelf south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, are examined using high-frequency (HF), radar-based, high-resolution (400 m) observations of surface currents. Within the 300 km2 study area, eddies occurred at rates of 1 and 4 day−1 in winter and summer, respectively. Most were less than 5 h in duration, smaller than 4 km in diameter, and rotated less than once over their lifespan; 60% of the eddies formed along the eastern edge of study area, adjacent to Wasque Shoal, and moved westward into the interior, often with relative vorticity greater than f. Eddy generation was linked to vortex stretching on the ebb and flood tide as well as the interaction of the spatially variable tide and the wind-driven currents; however, these features had complex patterns of surface divergence and stretching. Eddies located away from Wasque Shoal were related to the movement of wind-driven surface currents, as wind direction controlled where eddies formed as well as density effects. Using an analysis of particles advected within the radar-based surface currents, the observed eddies were found to be generally leaky, losing 60%–80% of particles over their lifespan, but still more retentive than the background flow. As a result, the combined translation and rotational effects of the observed eddies were an important source of lateral exchange for surface waters over the inner shelf.
    Description: The HF radar data utilized here were obtained using internal funding from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The analysis was supported by NSF OCE Grant 1332646.
    Description: 2017-02-19
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Continental shelf/slope ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Currents ; Eddies ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Radars/Radar observations
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2017-04-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 3155-3163, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0123.1.
    Description: Idealized laboratory experiments have been conducted in a two-layer stratified fluid to investigate the leading-order dynamics that control submarine melting and meltwater export near a vertical ice–ocean interface as a function of subglacial discharge. In summer, the discharge of surface runoff at the base of a glacier (subglacial discharge) generates strong buoyant plumes that rise along the glacier front entraining ambient water along the way. The entrainment enhances the heat transport toward the glacier front and hence the submarine melt rate increases with the subglacial discharge rate. In the laboratory, the effect of subglacial discharge is simulated by introducing freshwater at freezing temperature from a point source at the base of an ice block representing the glacier. The circulation pattern observed both with and without subglacial discharge resembles those observed in previous observational and numerical studies. Buoyant plumes rise vertically until they find either their neutrally buoyant level or the free surface. Hence, the meltwater can deposit within the interior of the water column and not entirely at the free surface, as confirmed by field observations. The heat budget in the tank, calculated following a new framework, gives estimates of submarine melt rate that increase with the subglacial discharge and are in agreement with the directly measured submarine melting. This laboratory study provides the first direct measurements of submarine melt rates for different subglacial discharges, and the results are consistent with the predictions of previous theoretical and numerical studies.
    Description: Support to C. C. was given by the NSF project OCE- 1130008 and OCE-1434041. M. G. received support from the ‘‘Gori’’ Fellowship.
    Description: 2017-04-07
    Keywords: Glaciers ; Buoyancy ; Density currents ; Turbulence ; Laboratory/physical models
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2017-06-02
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 1769-1783, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0193.1.
    Description: High-resolution observations of velocity, salinity, and turbulence quantities were collected in a salt wedge estuary to quantify the efficiency of stratified mixing in a high-energy environment. During the ebb tide, a midwater column layer of strong shear and stratification developed, exhibiting near-critical gradient Richardson numbers and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rates greater than 10−4 m2 s−3, based on inertial subrange spectra. Collocated estimates of scalar variance dissipation from microconductivity sensors were used to estimate buoyancy flux and the flux Richardson number Rif. The majority of the samples were outside the boundary layer, based on the ratio of Ozmidov and boundary length scales, and had a mean Rif = 0.23 ± 0.01 (dissipation flux coefficient Γ = 0.30 ± 0.02) and a median gradient Richardson number Rig = 0.25. The boundary-influenced subset of the data had decreased efficiency, with Rif = 0.17 ± 0.02 (Γ = 0.20 ± 0.03) and median Rig = 0.16. The relationship between Rif and Rig was consistent with a turbulent Prandtl number of 1. Acoustic backscatter imagery revealed coherent braids in the mixing layer during the early ebb and a transition to more homogeneous turbulence in the midebb. A temporal trend in efficiency was also visible, with higher efficiency in the early ebb and lower efficiency in the late ebb when the bottom boundary layer had greater influence on the flow. These findings show that mixing efficiency of turbulence in a continuously forced, energetic, free shear layer can be significantly greater than the broadly cited upper bound from Osborn of 0.15–0.17.
    Description: Holleman was supported by the Devonshire Scholars program. The field study and the coauthors’ contributions were supported by NSF Grant OCE 0926427.
    Description: 2016-11-24
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Mixing ; Shear structure/flows ; Turbulence ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Ship observations
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2018-02-20
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 1309-1321, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0068.1.
    Description: Direct measurements of oceanic turbulent parameters were taken upstream of and across Drake Passage, in the region of the Subantarctic and Polar Fronts. Values of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ε estimated by microstructure are up to two orders of magnitude lower than previously published estimates in the upper 1000 m. Turbulence levels in Drake Passage are systematically higher than values upstream, regardless of season. The dissipation of thermal variance χ is enhanced at middepth throughout the surveys, with the highest values found in northern Drake Passage, where water mass variability is the most pronounced. Using the density ratio, evidence for double-diffusive instability is presented. Subject to double-diffusive physics, the estimates of diffusivity using the Osborn–Cox method are larger than ensemble statistics based on ε and the buoyancy frequency.
    Description: This work was supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Description: 2016-10-05
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Southern Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Mixing ; Turbulence ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Fronts ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Profilers, oceanic
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2016-06-30
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 1717-1734, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0124.1.
    Description: The contribution of warm-core anticyclones shed by the Irminger Current off West Greenland, known as Irminger rings, to the restratification of the upper layers of the Labrador Sea is investigated in the 1/12° Family of Linked Atlantic Models Experiment (FLAME) model. The model output, covering the 1990–2004 period, shows strong similarities to observations of the Irminger Current as well as ring observations at a mooring located offshore of the eddy formation region in 2007–09. An analysis of fluxes in the model shows that while the majority of heat exchange with the interior indeed occurs at the site of the Irminger Current instability, the contribution of the coherent Irminger rings is modest (18%). Heat is provided to the convective region mainly through noncoherent anomalies and enhanced local mixing by the rings facilitating further exchange between the boundary and interior. The time variability of the eddy kinetic energy and the boundary to interior heat flux in the model are strongly correlated to the density gradient between the dense convective region and the more buoyant boundary current. In FLAME, the density variations of the boundary current are larger than those of the convective region, thereby largely controlling changes in lateral fluxes. Synchronous long-term trends in temperature in the boundary and the interior over the 15-yr simulation suggest that the heat flux relative to the temperature of the interior is largely steady on these time scales.
    Description: The authors were supported in this work by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Anticyclones ; Boundary currents ; Convection ; Eddies ; Fluxes
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2016-07-13
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 1823-1837, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0165.1.
    Description: Measurements just beneath the ocean surface demonstrate that the primary mechanism by which energy from breaking waves is transmitted into the water column is through the work done by the covariance of turbulent pressure and velocity fluctuations. The convergence in the vertical transport of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) balances the dissipation rate of TKE at first order and is nearly an order of magnitude greater than the sum of the integrated Eulerian and Stokes shear production. The measured TKE transport is consistent with a simple conceptual model that assumes roughly half of the surface flux of TKE by wave breaking is transmitted to depths greater than the significant wave height. During conditions when breaking waves are inferred, the direction of momentum flux is more aligned with the direction of wave propagation than with the wind direction. Both the energy and momentum fluxes occur at frequencies much lower than the wave band, consistent with the time scales associated with wave breaking. The largest instantaneous values of momentum flux are associated with strong downward vertical velocity perturbations, in contrast to the pressure work, which is associated with strong drops in pressure and upward vertical velocity perturbations.
    Description: Funding for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation Grants OCE-1339032 and OCE-1338518
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Energy transport ; Mixing ; Momentum ; Turbulence ; Wave breaking ; Waves, oceanic
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2016-09-29
    Description: © The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 33 (2016): 873-890, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0109.1.
    Description: Direct covariance flux (DCF) measurements taken from floating platforms are contaminated by wave-induced platform motions that need to be removed before computation of the turbulent fluxes. Several correction algorithms have been developed and successfully applied in earlier studies from research vessels and, most recently, by the use of moored buoys. The validation of those correction algorithms has so far been limited to short-duration comparisons against other floating platforms. Although these comparisons show in general a good agreement, there is still a lack of a rigorous validation of the method, required to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the existing motion-correction algorithms. This paper attempts to provide such a validation by a comparison of flux estimates from two DCF systems, one mounted on a moored buoy and one on the Air–Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) at the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory, Massachusetts. The ASIT was specifically designed to minimize flow distortion over a wide range of wind directions from the open ocean for flux measurements. The flow measurements from the buoy system are corrected for wave-induced platform motions before computation of the turbulent heat and momentum fluxes. Flux estimates and cospectra of the corrected buoy data are found to be in very good agreement with those obtained from the ASIT. The comparison is also used to optimize the filter constants used in the motion-correction algorithm. The quantitative agreement between the buoy data and the ASIT demonstrates that the DCF method is applicable for turbulence measurements from small moving platforms, such as buoys.
    Description: This work was funded by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE04-24536 as part of the CLIVAR Mode Water Dynamic Experiment (CLIMODE).
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Turbulence ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Boundary layer ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Air-sea interaction ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Buoy observations ; Quality assurance/control
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2017-04-20
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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): 3263-3278, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0091.1.
    Description: The halocline of the Beaufort Gyre varies significantly on interannual to decadal time scales, affecting the freshwater content (FWC) of the Arctic Ocean. This study explores the role of eddies in the Ekman-driven gyre variability. Following the transformed Eulerian-mean paradigm, the authors develop a theory that links the FWC variability to the stability of the large-scale gyre, defined as the inverse of its equilibration time. The theory, verified with eddy-resolving numerical simulations, demonstrates that the gyre stability is explicitly controlled by the mesoscale eddy diffusivity. An accurate representation of the halocline dynamics requires the eddy diffusivity of 300 ± 200 m2 s−1, which is lower than what is used in most low-resolution climate models. In particular, on interannual and longer time scales the eddy fluxes and the Ekman pumping provide equally important contributions to the FWC variability. However, only large-scale Ekman pumping patterns can significantly alter the FWC, with spatially localized perturbations being an order of magnitude less efficient. Lastly, the authors introduce a novel FWC tendency diagnostic—the Gyre Index—that can be conveniently calculated using observations located only along the gyre boundaries. Its strong predictive capabilities, assessed in the eddy-resolving model forced by stochastic winds, suggest that the Gyre Index would be of use in interpreting FWC evolution in observations as well as in numerical models.
    Description: GEMacknowledges the support from theHowland Postdoctoral Program Fund at WHOI and the Stanback Fellowship Fund at Caltech.MAS was supported by NSF Grants PLR-1415489 and OCE-1232389. AFT acknowledges support from NASA Award NNN12AA01C.
    Description: 2017-04-20
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Large-scale motions ; Ocean circulation ; Stability
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 1822–1842, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0147.1.
    Description: Influences of time-dependent precipitation on water mass transformation and heat budgets in an idealized marginal sea are examined using theoretical and numerical models. The equations proposed by Spall in 2012 are extended to cases with time-dependent precipitation whose form is either a step function or a sinusoidal function. The theory predicts the differences in temperature and salinity between the convective water and the boundary current as well as the magnitudes of heat fluxes into the marginal sea and across the sea surface. Moreover, the theory reveals that there are three inherent time scales: relaxation time scales for temperature and salinity and a precipitation time scale. The relaxation time scales are determined by a steady solution of the theoretical model with steady precipitation. The relaxation time scale for temperature is always smaller than that for salinity as a result of not only the difference in the form of fluxes at the surface but also the variation in the eddy transport from the boundary current. These three time scales and the precipitation amplitude determine the strength of the ocean response to changes in precipitation and the phase relation between precipitation, changes in salinity and temperature, and changes in heat fluxes. It is demonstrated that the theoretical predictions agree qualitatively well with results from the eddy-resolving numerical model. This demonstrates the fundamental role of mesoscale eddies in the ocean response to time-dependent forcing and provides a framework with which to assess the extent to which observed variability in marginal sea convection and water mass transformation are consistent with an external forcing by variations in precipitation.
    Description: This work was initiated at the 2013 WHOI Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer Program, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. This work was also supported by Grant-in-Aid for Research Fellow (25·8466) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT), Japan, the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, MEXT, Japan (YY), and by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE-1232389 (MAS).
    Description: 2016-01-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Boundary currents ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Precipitation
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 2381–2406, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0086.1.
    Description: While near-inertial waves are known to be generated by atmospheric storms, recent observations in the Kuroshio Front find intense near-inertial internal-wave shear along sloping isopycnals, even during calm weather. Recent literature suggests that spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves by frontal instabilities could represent a major sink for the subinertial quasigeostrophic circulation. An unforced three-dimensional 1-km-resolution model, initialized with the observed cross-Kuroshio structure, is used to explore this mechanism. After several weeks, the model exhibits growth of 10–100-km-scale frontal meanders, accompanied by O(10) mW m−2 spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves associated with readjustment of submesoscale fronts forced out of balance by mesoscale confluent flows. These waves have properties resembling those in the observations. However, they are reabsorbed into the model Kuroshio Front with no more than 15% dissipating or radiating away. Thus, spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves represents a redistribution of quasigeostrophic energy rather than a significant sink.
    Description: “The Study of Kuroshio Ecosystem Dynamics for Sustainable Fisheries (SKED)” supported by MEXT, MIT-Hayashi Seed Fund, ONR (Awards N000140910196 and N000141210101), NSF (Award OCE 0928617, 0928138) for support.
    Description: 2016-03-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Fronts ; Internal waves ; Turbulence ; Upwelling/downwelling ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Jets
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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 45 (2015): 2006–2024, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0234.1.
    Description: The effects of wind-driven whitecapping on the evolution of the ocean surface boundary layer are examined using an idealized one-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes numerical model. Whitecapping is parameterized as a flux of turbulent kinetic energy through the sea surface and through an adjustment of the turbulent length scale. Simulations begin with a two-layer configuration and use a wind that ramps to a steady stress. This study finds that the boundary layer begins to thicken sooner in simulations with whitecapping than without because whitecapping introduces energy to the base of the boundary layer sooner than shear production does. Even in the presence of whitecapping, shear production becomes important for several hours, but then inertial oscillations cause shear production and whitecapping to alternate as the dominant energy sources for mixing. Details of these results are sensitive to initial and forcing conditions, particularly to the turbulent length scale imposed by breaking waves and the transfer velocity of energy from waves to turbulence. After 1–2 days of steady wind, the boundary layer in whitecapping simulations has thickened more than the boundary layer in simulations without whitecapping by about 10%–50%, depending on the forcing and initial conditions.
    Description: We thank Skidmore College for financial and infrastructure support, and Skidmore and the National Science Foundation for funding travel to meetings where early versions of this work were presented. We also thank the National Science Foundation, Oregon State University, Jonathan Nash, and Joe Jurisa for funding and hosting a workshop on River Plume Mixing in October, 2013, where ideas and context for this paper were developed.
    Description: 2016-02-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Mixing ; Turbulence ; Wave breaking ; Wind stress ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Mixed layer
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 2621–2639, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0239.1.
    Description: Measurements made as part of a large-scale experiment to examine wind-driven circulation and mixing in Chesapeake Bay demonstrate that circulations consistent with Langmuir circulation play an important role in surface boundary layer dynamics. Under conditions when the turbulent Langmuir number Lat is low (〈0.5), the surface mixed layer is characterized by 1) elevated vertical turbulent kinetic energy; 2) decreased anisotropy; 3) negative vertical velocity skewness indicative of strong/narrow downwelling and weak/broad upwelling; and 4) strong negative correlations between low-frequency vertical velocity and the velocity in the direction of wave propagation. These characteristics appear to be primarily the result of the vortex force associated with the surface wave field, but convection driven by a destabilizing heat flux is observed and appears to contribute significantly to the observed negative vertical velocity skewness. Conditions that favor convection usually also have strong Langmuir forcing, and these two processes probably both contribute to the surface mixed layer turbulence. Conditions in which traditional stress-driven turbulence is important are limited in this dataset. Unlike other shallow coastal systems where full water column Langmuir circulation has been observed, the salinity stratification in Chesapeake Bay is nearly always strong enough to prevent full-depth circulation from developing.
    Description: The funding for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation Grants OCE-1339032 and OCE-1338518.
    Description: 2016-04-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Convection ; Instability ; Mixing ; Turbulence ; Wave breaking ; Wind stress
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  • 26
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2016-05-01
    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 45 (2015): 2820–2835, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0101.1.
    Description: The response of a convective ocean basin to variations in atmospheric temperature is explored using numerical models and theory. The results indicate that the general behavior depends strongly on the frequency at which the atmosphere changes relative to the local response time to air–sea heat flux. For high-frequency forcing, the convective region in the basin interior is essentially one-dimensional and responds to the integrated local surface heat flux anomalies. For low-frequency forcing, eddy fluxes from the boundary current into the basin interior become important and act to suppress variability forced by the atmosphere. A theory is developed to quantify this time-dependent response and its influence on various oceanic quantities. The amplitude and phase of the temperature and salinity of the convective water mass, the meridional overturning circulation, the meridional heat flux, and the air–sea heat flux predicted by the theory compare well with that diagnosed from a series of numerical model calculations in both strongly eddying and weakly eddying regimes. Linearized analytic solutions provide direct estimates of each of these quantities and demonstrate their dependence on the nondimensional numbers that characterize the domain and atmospheric forcing. These results highlight the importance of mesoscale eddies in modulating the mean and time-dependent ocean response to atmospheric variability and provide a dynamical framework with which to connect ocean observations with changes in the atmosphere and surface heat flux.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant OCE-1232389.
    Description: 2016-05-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Meridional overturning circulation
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 104–132, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0032.1.
    Description: Three mechanisms for self-induced Ekman pumping in the interiors of mesoscale ocean eddies are investigated. The first arises from the surface stress that occurs because of differences between surface wind and ocean velocities, resulting in Ekman upwelling and downwelling in the cores of anticyclones and cyclones, respectively. The second mechanism arises from the interaction of the surface stress with the surface current vorticity gradient, resulting in dipoles of Ekman upwelling and downwelling. The third mechanism arises from eddy-induced spatial variability of sea surface temperature (SST), which generates a curl of the stress and therefore Ekman pumping in regions of crosswind SST gradients. The spatial structures and relative magnitudes of the three contributions to eddy-induced Ekman pumping are investigated by collocating satellite-based measurements of SST, geostrophic velocity, and surface winds to the interiors of eddies identified from their sea surface height signatures. On average, eddy-induced Ekman pumping velocities approach O(10) cm day−1. SST-induced Ekman pumping is usually secondary to the two current-induced mechanisms for Ekman pumping. Notable exceptions are the midlatitude extensions of western boundary currents and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, where SST gradients are strong and all three mechanisms for eddy-induced Ekman pumping are comparable in magnitude. Because the polarity of current-induced curl of the surface stress opposes that of the eddy, the associated Ekman pumping attenuates the eddies. The decay time scale of this attenuation is proportional to the vertical scale of the eddy and inversely proportional to the wind speed. For typical values of these parameters, the decay time scale is about 1.3 yr.
    Description: This work was funded by NASA Grants NNX08AI80G, NNX08AR37G, NNX13AD78G, NNX10AE91G, NNX13AE47G, and NNX10AO98G.
    Description: 2015-07-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Satellite observations
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  • 28
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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 45 (2015): 606–612, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0221.1.
    Description: Mesoscale intrathermocline lenses are observed throughout the World Ocean and are commonly attributed to water mass anomalies advected from a distant origin. An alternative mechanism of local generation is offered herein, in which eddy–wind interaction can create lens-shaped disturbances in the thermocline. Numerical simulations illustrate how eddy–wind-driven upwelling in anticyclones can yield a convex lens reminiscent of a mode water eddy, whereas eddy–wind-driven downwelling in cyclones produces a concave lens that thins the mode water layer (a cyclonic “thinny”). Such transformations should be observable with long-term time series in the interiors of mesoscale eddies.
    Description: Support of this research by the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2015-08-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Models and modeling ; Ocean models ; Primitive equations model
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 778–791, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0164.1.
    Description: This study examines anisotropic transport properties of the eddying North Atlantic flow, using an idealized model of the double-gyre oceanic circulation and altimetry-derived velocities. The material transport by the time-dependent flow (quantified by the eddy diffusivity tensor) varies geographically and is anisotropic, that is, it has a well-defined direction of the maximum transport. One component of the time-dependent flow, zonally elongated large-scale transients, is particularly important for the anisotropy, as it corresponds to primarily zonal material transport and long correlation time scales. The importance of these large-scale zonal transients in the material distribution is further confirmed with simulations of idealized color dye tracers, which has implications for parameterizations of the eddy transport in non-eddy-resolving models.
    Description: IK would like to acknowledge support through the NSF Grant OCE-1154923. IR was supported by the NSF OCE-1154641 and NASA Grant NNX14AH29G.
    Description: 2015-09-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Eddies ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Ocean circulation ; Models and modeling ; Tracers
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 1735–1756, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0238.1.
    Description: The Lofoten basin of the Nordic Seas is recognized as a crucial component of the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic because of the large horizontal extent of Atlantic Water and winter surface buoyancy loss. In this study, hydrographic and current measurements collected from a mooring deployed in the Lofoten basin from July 2010 to September 2012 are used to describe water mass transformation and the mesoscale eddy field. Winter mixed layer depths (MLDs) are observed to reach approximately 400 m, with larger MLDs and denser properties resulting from the colder 2010 winter. A heat budget of the upper water column requires lateral input, which balances the net annual heat loss of ~80 W m−2. The lateral flux is a result of mesoscale eddies, which dominate the velocity variability. Eddy velocities are enhanced in the upper 1000 m, with a barotropic component that reaches the bottom. Detailed examination of two eddies, from April and August 2012, highlights the variability of the eddy field and eddy properties. Temperature and salinity properties of the April eddy suggest that it originated from the slope current but was ventilated by surface fluxes. The properties within the eddy were similar to those of the mode water, indicating that convection within the eddies may make an important contribution to water mass transformation. A rough estimate of eddy flux per unit boundary current length suggests that fluxes in the Lofoten basin are larger than in the Labrador Sea because of the enhanced boundary current–interior density difference.
    Description: The work was supported by NSF OCE 0850416.
    Description: 2015-12-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Boundary currents ; Eddies ; Fluxes ; Mesoscale processes ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Thermohaline circulation
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 45 (2015): 2497–2521, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0128.1.
    Description: Oceanic density overturns are commonly used to parameterize the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy. This method assumes a linear scaling between the Thorpe length scale LT and the Ozmidov length scale LO. Historic evidence supporting LT ~ LO has been shown for relatively weak shear-driven turbulence of the thermocline; however, little support for the method exists in regions of turbulence driven by the convective collapse of topographically influenced overturns that are large by open-ocean standards. This study presents a direct comparison of LT and LO, using vertical profiles of temperature and microstructure shear collected in the Luzon Strait—a site characterized by topographically influenced overturns up to O(100) m in scale. The comparison is also done for open-ocean sites in the Brazil basin and North Atlantic where overturns are generally smaller and due to different processes. A key result is that LT/LO increases with overturn size in a fashion similar to that observed in numerical studies of Kelvin–Helmholtz (K–H) instabilities for all sites but is most clear in data from the Luzon Strait. Resultant bias in parameterized dissipation is mitigated by ensemble averaging; however, a positive bias appears when instantaneous observations are depth and time integrated. For a series of profiles taken during a spring tidal period in the Luzon Strait, the integrated value is nearly an order of magnitude larger than that based on the microstructure observations. Physical arguments supporting LT ~ LO are revisited, and conceptual regimes explaining the relationship between LT/LO and a nondimensional overturn size are proposed. In a companion paper, Scotti obtains similar conclusions from energetics arguments and simulations.
    Description: B.D.M. and S.K.V. gratefully acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research under Grants N00014-12-1-0279, N00014-12-1-0282, and N00014-12-1-0938 (Program Manager: Dr. Terri Paluszkiewicz). S.K.V. also acknowledges support of the National Science Foundation under Grant OCE-1151838. L.S.L. acknowledges support for BBTRE by the National Science Foundation by Contract OCE94-15589 and NATRE and IWISE by the Office of Naval Research by Contracts N00014-92-1323 and N00014-10-10315. J.N.M. was supported through Grant 1256620 from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research (IWISE Project).
    Description: 2016-04-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Small scale processes ; Turbulence ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Mixing ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Profilers, oceanic ; Models and modeling ; Parameterization
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  • 32
    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 Climate 27 (2014): 2842–2860, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00227.1.
    Description: Mooring measurements from the Kuroshio Extension System Study (June 2004–June 2006) and from the ongoing Kuroshio Extension Observatory (June 2004–present) are combined with float measurements of the Argo network to study the variability of the North Pacific Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) across the entire gyre, on time scales from days, to seasons, to a decade. The top of the STMW follows a seasonal cycle, although observations reveal that it primarily varies in discrete steps associated with episodic wind events. The variations of the STMW bottom depth are tightly related to the sea surface height (SSH), reflecting mesoscale eddies and large-scale variations of the Kuroshio Extension and recirculation gyre systems. Using the observed relationship between SSH and STMW, gridded SSH products and in situ estimates from floats are used to construct weekly maps of STMW thickness, providing nonbiased estimates of STMW total volume, annual formation and erosion volumes, and seasonal and interannual variability for the past decade. Year-to-year variations are detected, particularly a significant decrease of STMW volume in 2007–10 primarily attributable to a smaller volume formed. Variability of the heat content in the mode water region is dominated by the seasonal cycle and mesoscale eddies; there is only a weak link to STMW on interannual time scales, and no long-term trends in heat content and STMW thickness between 2002 and 2011 are detected. Weak lagged correlations among air–sea fluxes, oceanic heat content, and STMW thickness are found when averaged over the northwestern Pacific recirculation gyre region.
    Description: This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Grants OCE-0220161, OCE-0825152, and OCE-0827125).
    Description: 2014-10-15
    Keywords: Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Mesoscale processes ; Mesoscale systems ; Ocean dynamics ; Eddies ; Water masses
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  • 33
    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): 1306–1328, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0191.1.
    Description: The ice–ocean system is investigated on inertial to monthly time scales using winter 2009–10 observations from the first ice-tethered profiler (ITP) equipped with a velocity sensor (ITP-V). Fluctuations in surface winds, ice velocity, and ocean velocity at 7-m depth were correlated. Observed ocean velocity was primarily directed to the right of the ice velocity and spiraled clockwise while decaying with depth through the mixed layer. Inertial and tidal motions of the ice and in the underlying ocean were observed throughout the record. Just below the ice–ocean interface, direct estimates of the turbulent vertical heat, salt, and momentum fluxes and the turbulent dissipation rate were obtained. Periods of elevated internal wave activity were associated with changes to the turbulent heat and salt fluxes as well as stratification primarily within the mixed layer. Turbulent heat and salt fluxes were correlated particularly when the mixed layer was closest to the freezing temperature. Momentum flux is adequately related to velocity shear using a constant ice–ocean drag coefficient, mixing length based on the planetary and geometric scales, or Rossby similarity theory. Ekman viscosity described velocity shear over the mixed layer. The ice–ocean drag coefficient was elevated for certain directions of the ice–ocean shear, implying an ice topography that was characterized by linear ridges. Mixing length was best estimated using the wavenumber of the beginning of the inertial subrange or a variable drag coefficient. Analyses of this and future ITP-V datasets will advance understanding of ice–ocean interactions and their parameterizations in numerical models.
    Description: Support for this study and the overall ITP program was provided by the National Science Foundation and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Support for S. Cole was partially though the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with funding provided by the Devonshire Foundation.
    Description: 2014-11-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Arctic ; Sea ice ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Internal waves ; Turbulence ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Oceanic mixed layer
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  • 34
    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
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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 Climate 26 (2013): 9839–9859, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00647.1.
    Description: Spatial and temporal covariability between the atmospheric transient eddy heat fluxes (i.e., υ′T′ and υ′q′) in the Northern Hemisphere winter (January–March) and the paths of the Gulf Stream (GS), Kuroshio Extension (KE), and Oyashio Extension (OE) are examined based on an atmospheric reanalyses and ocean observations for 1979–2009. For the climatological winter mean, the northward heat fluxes by the synoptic (2–8 days) transient eddies exhibit canonical storm tracks with their maxima collocated with the GS and KE/OE. The intraseasonal (8 days–3 months) counterpart, while having overall similar amplitude, shows a spatial pattern with more localized maxima near the major orography and blocking regions. Lateral heat flux divergence by transient eddies as the sum of the two frequency bands exhibits very close coupling with the exact locations of the ocean fronts. Linear regression is used to examine the lead–lag relationship between interannual changes in the northward heat fluxes by the transient eddies and the meridional changes in the paths of the GS, KE, and OE, respectively. One to three years prior to the northward shifts of each ocean front, the atmospheric storm tracks shift northward and intensify, which is consistent with wind-driven changes of the ocean. Following the northward shifts of the ocean fronts, the synoptic storm tracks weaken in all three cases. The zonally integrated northward heat transport by the synoptic transient eddies increases by ~5% of its maximum mean value prior to the northward shift of each ocean front and decreases to a similar amplitude afterward.
    Description: Support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Physical Oceanography Program (NNX09AF35G to TJ and Y-OK) and the Department of Energy (DOE) Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (DE-SC0007052 to Y-OK) is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2014-06-15
    Keywords: Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Eddies ; Energy transport ; Storm tracks ; Heat budgets/fluxes
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  • 36
    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): 229–245, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0218.1.
    Description: Data from a mooring deployed at the edge of the East Greenland shelf south of Denmark Strait from September 2007 to October 2008 are analyzed to investigate the processes by which dense water is transferred off the shelf. It is found that water denser than 27.7 kg m−3—as dense as water previously attributed to the adjacent East Greenland Spill Jet—resides near the bottom of the shelf for most of the year with no discernible seasonality. The mean velocity in the central part of the water column is directed along the isobaths, while the deep flow is bottom intensified and veers offshore. Two mechanisms for driving dense spilling events are investigated, one due to offshore forcing and the other associated with wind forcing. Denmark Strait cyclones propagating southward along the continental slope are shown to drive off-shelf flow at their leading edges and are responsible for much of the triggering of individual spilling events. Northerly barrier winds also force spilling. Local winds generate an Ekman downwelling cell. Nonlocal winds also excite spilling, which is hypothesized to be the result of southward-propagating coastally trapped waves, although definitive confirmation is still required. The combined effect of the eddies and barrier winds results in the strongest spilling events, while in the absence of winds a train of eddies causes enhanced spilling.
    Description: The authors wish to thank Paula Fratantoni, Frank Bahr, and Dan Torres for processing the mooring data. The mooring array was capably deployed by the crew of the R/V Arni Fridriksson and recovered by the crew of the R/V Knorr. We thank Hedinn Valdimarsson for his assistance in the field work. Ken Brink provided valuable insights regarding the dynamics of shelf waves. Funding for the study was provided by National Science Foundation Grant OCE-0722694, the Arctic Research Initiative of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We also wish to thank the Natural Environment Research Council for Ph.D. studentship funding, and the University of East Anglia’s Roberts Fund and Royal Meteorological Society for supporting travel for collaboration.
    Description: 2014-07-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Continental shelf/slope ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Upwelling/downwelling ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Eddies ; Extreme events ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Air-sea interaction
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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): 2593–2616, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0120.1.
    Description: The first direct estimate of the rate at which geostrophic turbulence mixes tracers across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is presented. The estimate is computed from the spreading of a tracer released upstream of Drake Passage as part of the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES). The meridional eddy diffusivity, a measure of the rate at which the area of the tracer spreads along an isopycnal across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is 710 ± 260 m2 s−1 at 1500-m depth. The estimate is based on an extrapolation of the tracer-based diffusivity using output from numerical tracers released in a one-twentieth of a degree model simulation of the circulation and turbulence in the Drake Passage region. The model is shown to reproduce the observed spreading rate of the DIMES tracer and suggests that the meridional eddy diffusivity is weak in the upper kilometer of the water column with values below 500 m2 s−1 and peaks at the steering level, near 2 km, where the eddy phase speed is equal to the mean flow speed. These vertical variations are not captured by ocean models presently used for climate studies, but they significantly affect the ventilation of different water masses.
    Description: NSF support through Awards OCE-1233832, OCE-1232962, and OCE-1048926 is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2015-04-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Southern Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diffusion ; Eddies ; Ocean circulation ; Turbulence ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Isopycnal mixing
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 905–919, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0150.1.
    Description: Interactions between vortices and a shelfbreak current are investigated, with particular attention to the exchange of waters between the continental shelf and slope. The nonlinear, three-dimensional interaction between an anticyclonic vortex and the shelfbreak current is studied in the laboratory while varying the ratio ε of the maximum azimuthal velocity in the vortex to the maximum alongshelf velocity in the shelfbreak current. Strong interactions between the shelfbreak current and the vortex are observed when ε 〉 1; weak interactions are found when ε 〈 1. When the anticyclonic vortex comes in contact with the shelfbreak front during a strong interaction, a streamer of shelf water is drawn offshore and wraps anticyclonically around the vortex. Measurements of the offshore transport and identification of the particle trajectories in the shelfbreak current drawn offshore from the vortex allow quantification of the fraction of the shelfbreak current that is deflected onto the slope; this fraction increases for increasing values of ε. Experimental results in the laboratory are strikingly similar to results obtained from observations in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB); after proper scaling, measurements of offshore transport and offshore displacement of shelf water for vortices in the MAB that span a range of values of ε agree well with laboratory predictions.
    Description: Laboratory work was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE- 0081756. Glider observations in March–April 2006 were supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-0220769. Glider observations in July– October 2007 were supported by a grant from Raytheon. RET was supported by the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with funding provided by the Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region. The REMUS observations were funded by the Office of Naval Research. GGG was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-1129125 for analysis and writing.
    Description: 2013-11-01
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Eddies ; Fronts ; Transport ; Laboratory/physical models
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 2143–2152, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-027.1.
    Description: Direct measurements of turbulence levels in the Drake Passage region of the Southern Ocean show a marked enhancement over the Phoenix Ridge. At this site, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is constricted in its flow between the southern tip of South America and the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Observed turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates are enhanced in the regions corresponding to the ACC frontal zones where strong flow reaches the bottom. In these areas, turbulent dissipation levels reach 10−8 W kg−1 at abyssal and middepths. The mixing enhancement in the frontal regions is sufficient to elevate the diapycnal turbulent diffusivity acting in the deep water above the axis of the ridge to 1 × 10−4 m2 s−1. This level is an order of magnitude larger than the mixing levels observed upstream in the ACC above smoother bathymetry. Outside of the frontal regions, dissipation rates are O(10−10) W kg−1, comparable to the background levels of turbulence found throughout most mid- and low-latitude regions of the global ocean.
    Description: This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and by the Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom.
    Description: 2013-06-01
    Keywords: Southern Ocean ; Turbulence ; Diapycnal mixing
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 2206–2228, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0191.1.
    Description: This study investigates the anisotropic properties of the eddy-induced material transport in the near-surface North Atlantic from two independent datasets, one simulated from the sea surface height altimetry and one derived from real-ocean surface drifters, and systematically examines the interactions between the mean- and eddy-induced material transport in the region. The Lagrangian particle dispersion, which is widely used to characterize the eddy-induced tracer fluxes, is quantified by constructing the “spreading ellipses.” The analysis consistently demonstrates that this dispersion is spatially inhomogeneous and strongly anisotropic. The spreading is larger and more anisotropic in the subtropical than in the subpolar gyre, and the largest ellipses occur in the Gulf Stream vicinity. Even at times longer than half a year, the spreading exhibits significant nondiffusive behavior in some parts of the domain. The eddies in this study are defined as deviations from the long-term time-mean. The contributions from the climatological annual cycle, interannual, and subannual (shorter than one year) variability are investigated, and the latter is shown to have the strongest effect on the anisotropy of particle spreading. The influence of the mean advection on the eddy-induced particle spreading is investigated using the “eddy-following-full-trajectories” technique and is found to be significant. The role of the Ekman advection is, however, secondary. The pronounced anisotropy of particle dispersion is expected to have important implications for distributing oceanic tracers, and for parameterizing eddy-induced tracer transfer in non-eddy-resolving models.
    Description: IR was supported by Grant NSF-OCE-0725796. IK would like to acknowledge support by the National Science foundation Grant OCE-0842834.
    Description: 2013-06-01
    Keywords: North Atlantic Ocean ; Diffusion ; Dispersion ; Eddies ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Trajectories
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 283–300, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0240.1.
    Description: Motivated by the recent interest in ocean energetics, the widespread use of horizontal eddy viscosity in models, and the promise of high horizontal resolution data from the planned wide-swath satellite altimeter, this paper explores the impacts of horizontal eddy viscosity and horizontal grid resolution on geostrophic turbulence, with a particular focus on spectral kinetic energy fluxes Π(K) computed in the isotropic wavenumber (K) domain. The paper utilizes idealized two-layer quasigeostrophic (QG) models, realistic high-resolution ocean general circulation models, and present-generation gridded satellite altimeter data. Adding horizontal eddy viscosity to the QG model results in a forward cascade at smaller scales, in apparent agreement with results from present-generation altimetry. Eddy viscosity is taken to roughly represent coupling of mesoscale eddies to internal waves or to submesoscale eddies. Filtering the output of either the QG or realistic models before computing Π(K) also greatly increases the forward cascade. Such filtering mimics the smoothing inherent in the construction of present-generation gridded altimeter data. It is therefore difficult to say whether the forward cascades seen in present-generation altimeter data are due to real physics (represented here by eddy viscosity) or to insufficient horizontal resolution. The inverse cascade at larger scales remains in the models even after filtering, suggesting that its existence in the models and in altimeter data is robust. However, the magnitude of the inverse cascade is affected by filtering, suggesting that the wide-swath altimeter will allow a more accurate determination of the inverse cascade at larger scales as well as providing important constraints on smaller-scale dynamics.
    Description: BKA received support from Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-11-1-0487, National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants OCE-0924481 and OCE- 09607820, and University of Michigan startup funds. KLP acknowledges support from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds. RBS acknowledges support from NSF grants OCE-0960834 and OCE-0851457, a contract with the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and a NASA subcontract to Boston University. JFS and JGR were supported by the projects ‘‘Global and remote littoral forcing in global ocean models’’ and ‘‘Agesotrophic vorticity dynamics of the ocean,’’ respectively, both sponsored by the Office of Naval Research under program element 601153N.
    Description: 2013-08-01
    Keywords: Eddies ; Nonlinear dynamics ; Ocean dynamics ; Satellite observations ; Ocean models
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 259–282, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0194.1.
    Description: This study reports on observations of turbulent dissipation and internal wave-scale flow properties in a standing meander of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) north of the Kerguelen Plateau. The authors characterize the intensity and spatial distribution of the observed turbulent dissipation and the derived turbulent mixing, and consider underpinning mechanisms in the context of the internal wave field and the processes governing the waves’ generation and evolution. The turbulent dissipation rate and the derived diapycnal diffusivity are highly variable with systematic depth dependence. The dissipation rate is generally enhanced in the upper 1000–1500 m of the water column, and both the dissipation rate and diapycnal diffusivity are enhanced in some places near the seafloor, commonly in regions of rough topography and in the vicinity of strong bottom flows associated with the ACC jets. Turbulent dissipation is high in regions where internal wave energy is high, consistent with the idea that interior dissipation is related to a breaking internal wave field. Elevated turbulence occurs in association with downward-propagating near-inertial waves within 1–2 km of the surface, as well as with upward-propagating, relatively high-frequency waves within 1–2 km of the seafloor. While an interpretation of these near-bottom waves as lee waves generated by ACC jets flowing over small-scale topographic roughness is supported by the qualitative match between the spatial patterns in predicted lee wave radiation and observed near-bottom dissipation, the observed dissipation is found to be only a small percentage of the energy flux predicted by theory. The mismatch suggests an alternative fate to local dissipation for a significant fraction of the radiated energy.
    Description: SW acknowledges the support of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London. ACNG acknowledges the support of a NERC Advanced Research Fellowship (Grant NE/C517633/1). KLP acknowledges support from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds.
    Description: 2013-08-01
    Keywords: Diapycnal mixing ; Internal waves ; Turbulence
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2016-12-21
    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): 1611–1626, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0204.1.
    Description: A new method is proposed for extrapolating subsurface velocity and density fields from sea surface density and sea surface height (SSH). In this, the surface density is linked to the subsurface fields via the surface quasigeostrophic (SQG) formalism, as proposed in several recent papers. The subsurface field is augmented by the addition of the barotropic and first baroclinic modes, whose amplitudes are determined by matching to the sea surface height (pressure), after subtracting the SQG contribution. An additional constraint is that the bottom pressure anomaly vanishes. The method is tested for three regions in the North Atlantic using data from a high-resolution numerical simulation. The decomposition yields strikingly realistic subsurface fields. It is particularly successful in energetic regions like the Gulf Stream extension and at high latitudes where the mixed layer is deep, but it also works in less energetic eastern subtropics. The demonstration highlights the possibility of reconstructing three-dimensional oceanic flows using a combination of satellite fields, for example, sea surface temperature (SST) and SSH, and sparse (or climatological) estimates of the regional depth-resolved density. The method could be further elaborated to integrate additional subsurface information, such as mooring measurements.
    Description: JW and AM were supported by NASA (NNX12AD47G) and NSF (OCE 0928617). JLM was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy under DE-GF0205ER64119. GRF is supported by OCE-0752346 and JHL by NORSEE (Nordic Seas Eddy Exchanges) funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
    Description: 2014-02-01
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Potential vorticity ; Surface pressure ; Surface temperature ; Inverse methods
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2016-04-22
    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): 1841–1861, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0231.1.
    Description: In this idealized numerical modeling study, the composition of residual sediment fluxes in energetic (e.g., weakly or periodically stratified) tidal estuaries is investigated by means of one-dimensional water column models, with some focus on the sediment availability. Scaling of the underlying dynamic equations shows dependence of the results on the Simpson number (relative strength of horizontal density gradient) and the Rouse number (relative settling velocity) as well as impacts of the Unsteadiness number (relative tidal frequency). Here, the parameter space given by the Simpson and Rouse numbers is mainly investigated. A simple analytical model based on the assumption of stationarity shows that for small Simpson and Rouse numbers sediment flux is down estuary and vice versa for large Simpson and Rouse numbers. A fully dynamic water column model coupled to a second-moment turbulence closure model allows to decompose the sediment flux profiles into contributions from the transport flux (product of subtidal velocity and sediment concentration profiles) and the fluctuation flux profiles (tidal covariance between current velocity and sediment concentration). Three different types of bottom sediment pools are distinguished to vary the sediment availability, by defining a time scale for complete sediment erosion. For short erosion times scales, the transport sediment flux may dominate, but for larger erosion time scales the fluctuation sediment flux largely dominates the tidal sediment flux. When quarter-diurnal components are added to the tidal forcing, up-estuary sediment fluxes are strongly increased for stronger and shorter flood tides and vice versa. The theoretical results are compared to field observations in a tidally energetic inlet.
    Description: Project funding was provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the Project ECOWS (Role of Estuarine Circulation for Transport of Suspended Particulate Matter in the Wadden Sea, BU 1199/11) and by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education in the framework of the Project PACE [The future of the Wadden Sea sediment fluxes: still keeping pace with sea level rise? (FKZ 03F0634A)].
    Description: 2014-03-01
    Keywords: Channel flows ; Coastal flows ; Mixing ; Transport ; Turbulence ; Single column models
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 855–868, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-10-05010.1.
    Description: Data from the Hudson River estuary demonstrate that the tidal variations in vertical salinity stratification are not consistent with the patterns associated with along-channel tidal straining. These observations result from three additional processes not accounted for in the traditional tidal straining model: 1) along-channel and 2) lateral advection of horizontal gradients in the vertical salinity gradient and 3) tidal asymmetries in the strength of vertical mixing. As a result, cross-sectionally averaged values of the vertical salinity gradient are shown to increase during the flood tide and decrease during the ebb. Only over a limited portion of the cross section does the observed stratification increase during the ebb and decrease during the flood. These observations highlight the three-dimensional nature of estuarine flows and demonstrate that lateral circulation provides an alternate mechanism that allows for the exchange of materials between surface and bottom waters, even when direct turbulent mixing through the pycnocline is prohibited by strong stratification.
    Description: The funding for this research was obtained from NSF Grant OCE-08-25226.
    Description: 2012-11-01
    Keywords: Mixing ; Ocean circulation ; Shear structure/flows ; Transport ; Turbulence
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 41 (2011): 2168–2186, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-08.1.
    Description: This paper studies the interaction of an Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)–like wind-driven channel flow with a continental slope and a flat-bottomed bay-shaped shelf near the channel’s southern boundary. Interaction between the model ACC and the topography in the second layer induces local changes of the potential vorticity (PV) flux, which further causes the formation of a first-layer PV front near the base of the topography. Located between the ACC and the first-layer slope, the newly formed PV front is constantly perturbed by the ACC and in turn forces the first-layer slope with its own variability in an intermittent but persistent way. The volume transport of the slope water across the first-layer slope edge is mostly directly driven by eddies and meanders of the new front, and its magnitude is similar to the maximum Ekman transport in the channel. Near the bay’s opening, the effect of the topographic waves, excited by offshore variability, dominates the cross-isobath exchange and induces a mean clockwise shelf circulation. The waves’ propagation is only toward the west and tends to be blocked by the bay’s western boundary in the narrow-shelf region. The ensuing wave–coast interaction amplifies the wave amplitude and the cross-shelf transport. Because the interaction only occurs near the western boundary, the shelf water in the west of the bay is more readily carried offshore than that in the east and the mean shelf circulation is also intensified along the bay’s western boundary.
    Description: Y. Zhang acknowledges the support of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Physical Oceanography and NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE- 0451086. J. Pedlosky acknowledges the support of NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Eddies ; Fronts ; Mass fluxes/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Topographic effects
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 41 (2011): 2223–2241, doi:10.1175/2011JPO4344.1.
    Description: Results are presented from an observational study of stratified, turbulent flow in the bottom boundary layer on the outer southeast Florida shelf. Measurements of momentum and heat fluxes were made using an array of acoustic Doppler velocimeters and fast-response temperature sensors in the bottom 3 m over a rough reef slope. Direct estimates of flux Richardson number Rf confirm previous laboratory, numerical, and observational work, which find mixing efficiency not to be a constant but rather to vary with Frt, Reb, and Rig. These results depart from previous observations in that the highest levels of mixing efficiency occur for Frt 〈 1, suggesting that efficient mixing can also happen in regions of buoyancy-controlled turbulence. Generally, the authors find that turbulence in the reef bottom boundary layer is highly variable in time and modified by near-bed flow, shear, and stratification driven by shoaling internal waves.
    Description: Funding was provided by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Undersea Research Program, National Science Foundation Grants OCE-0622967 and OCE- 0824972 to SGM, and the Singapore Stanford Program. Kristen Davis was supported by a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship and an ARCS Foundation Fellowship.
    Keywords: Boundary layer ; Turbulence ; Bottom currents ; Mixing ; Internal waves
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  • 48
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 1684–1700, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0230.1.
    Description: The influences of precipitation on water mass transformation and the strength of the meridional overturning circulation in marginal seas are studied using theoretical and idealized numerical models. Nondimensional equations are developed for the temperature and salinity anomalies of deep convective water masses, making explicit their dependence on both geometric parameters such as basin area, sill depth, and latitude, as well as on the strength of atmospheric forcing. In addition to the properties of the convective water, the theory also predicts the magnitude of precipitation required to shut down deep convection and switch the circulation into the haline mode. High-resolution numerical model calculations compare well with the theory for the properties of the convective water mass, the strength of the meridional overturning circulation, and also the shutdown of deep convection. However, the numerical model also shows that, for precipitation levels that exceed this critical threshold, the circulation retains downwelling and northward heat transport, even in the absence of deep convection.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation underGrantsOCE-0850416, OCE-0959381, andOCE-0859381.
    Description: 2013-04-01
    Keywords: Boundary currents ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Stability
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 41 (2011): 889–910, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4496.1.
    Description: This paper examines interaction between a barotropic point vortex and a steplike topography with a bay-shaped shelf. The interaction is governed by two mechanisms: propagation of topographic Rossby waves and advection by the forcing vortex. Topographic waves are supported by the potential vorticity (PV) jump across the topography and propagate along the step only in one direction, having higher PV on the right. Near one side boundary of the bay, which is in the wave propagation direction and has a narrow shelf, waves are blocked by the boundary, inducing strong out-of-bay transport in the form of detached crests. The wave–boundary interaction as well as out-of-bay transport is strengthened as the minimum shelf width is decreased. The two control mechanisms are related differently in anticyclone- and cyclone-induced interactions. In anticyclone-induced interactions, the PV front deformations are moved in opposite directions by the point vortex and topographic waves; a topographic cyclone forms out of the balance between the two opposing mechanisms and is advected by the forcing vortex into the deep ocean. In cyclone-induced interactions, the PV front deformations are moved in the same direction by the two mechanisms; a topographic cyclone forms out of the wave–boundary interaction but is confined to the coast. Therefore, anticyclonic vortices are more capable of driving water off the topography. The anticyclone-induced transport is enhanced for smaller vortex–step distance or smaller topography when the vortex advection is relatively strong compared to the wave propagation mechanism.
    Description: Y. Zhang acknowledges the support of theMIT-WHOI Joint Programin Physical Oceanography, NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE-0451086. J. Pedlosky acknowledges the support of NSF OCE- 9901654 and OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Transport ; Eddies ; Barotropic flow ; Topographic effects ; Vortices ; Currents ; Potential vorticity ; Rossby waves
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 41 (2011): 1182–1208, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4564.1.
    Description: The authors use data collected by a line of tall current meter moorings deployed across the axis of the Kuroshio Extension (KE) jet at the location of maximum time-mean eddy kinetic energy to characterize the mean jet structure, the eddy variability, and the nature of eddy–mean flow interactions observed during the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS). A picture of the 2-yr record mean jet structure is presented in both geographical and stream coordinates, revealing important contrasts in jet strength, width, vertical structure, and flanking recirculation structure. Eddy variability observed is discussed in the context of some of its various sources: jet meandering, rings, waves, and jet instability. Finally, various scenarios for eddy–mean flow interaction consistent with the observations are explored. It is shown that the observed cross-jet distributions of Reynolds stresses at the KESS location are consistent with wave radiation away from the jet, with the sense of the eddy feedback effect on the mean consistent with eddy driving of the observed recirculations. The authors consider these results in the context of a broader description of eddy–mean flow interactions in the larger KE region using KESS data in combination with in situ measurements from past programs in the region and satellite altimetry. This demonstrates important consistencies in the along-stream development of time-mean and eddy properties in the KE with features of an idealized model of a western boundary current (WBC) jet used to understand the nature and importance of eddy–mean flow interactions in WBC jet systems.
    Description: This work was supported by National Science Foundation funding for the KESS program under Grants OCE-0220161 (SW, NGH, and SRJ), OCE- 0825550 (SW), OCE-0850744 (NGH), and OCE-0849808 (SRJ). SW was also supported by the MIT Presidential Fellowship. The financial assistance of the Houghton Fund, the MIT Student Assistance Fund, and WHOI Academic Programs is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Boundary currents ; Jets
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 Climate 24 (2011): 4844–4858, doi:10.1175/2011JCLI4130.1.
    Description: The factors that determine the heat transport and overturning circulation in marginal seas subject to wind forcing and heat loss to the atmosphere are explored using a combination of a high-resolution ocean circulation model and a simple conceptual model. The study is motivated by the exchange between the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean and the Nordic Seas, a region that is of central importance to the oceanic thermohaline circulation. It is shown that mesoscale eddies formed in the marginal sea play a major role in determining the mean meridional heat transport and meridional overturning circulation across the sill. The balance between the oceanic eddy heat flux and atmospheric cooling, as characterized by a nondimensional number, is shown to be the primary factor in determining the properties of the exchange. Results from a series of eddy-resolving primitive equation model calculations for the meridional heat transport, overturning circulation, density of convective waters, and density of exported waters compare well with predictions from the conceptual model over a wide range of parameter space. Scaling and model results indicate that wind effects are small and the mean exchange is primarily buoyancy forced. These results imply that one must accurately resolve or parameterize eddy fluxes in order to properly represent the mean exchange between the North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas, and thus between the Nordic Seas and the atmosphere, in climate models.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants OCE-0726339 and OCE-0850416.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Forcing ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Transport ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Seas/gulfs/bays
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 41 (2011): 166-185, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4470.1.
    Description: Field observations of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), dissipation rate ε, and turbulent length scale demonstrate the impact of both density stratification and nonlocal turbulent production on turbulent momentum flux. The data were collected in a highly stratified salt wedge estuary using the Mobile Array for Sensing Turbulence (MAST). Estimates of the dominant length scale of turbulent motions obtained from the vertical velocity spectra provide field confirmation of the theoretical limitation imposed by either the distance to the boundary or the Ozmidov scale, whichever is smaller. Under boundary-limited conditions, anisotropy generally increases with increasing shear and decreased distance to the boundary. Under Ozmidov-limited conditions, anisotropy increases rapidly when the gradient Richardson number exceeds 0.25. Both boundary-limited and Ozmidov-limited conditions demonstrate significant deviations from a local production–dissipation balance that are largely consistent with simple scaling relationships for the vertical divergence in TKE flux. Both the impact of stratification and deviation from equilibrium turbulence observed in the data are largely consistent with commonly used turbulence closure models that employ “nonequilibrium” stability functions. The data compare most favorably with the nonequilibrium version of the L. H. Kantha and C. A. Clayson stability functions. Not only is this approach more consistent with the observed critical gradient Richardson number of 0.25, but it also accounts for the large deviations from equilibrium turbulence in a manner consistent with the observations.
    Description: The funding for this research was obtained from ONR Grant N00014-06-1-0292 and NSF Grants and OCE-08-25226 and OCE-08-24871.
    Keywords: Turbulence ; Estuaries ; Kinetic energy
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 39 (2009): 1077–1096, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4044.1.
    Description: Observations of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dynamics in the ocean surface boundary layer are presented here and compared with results from previous observational, numerical, and analytic studies. As in previous studies, the dissipation rate of TKE is found to be higher in the wavy ocean surface boundary layer than it would be in a flow past a rigid boundary with similar stress and buoyancy forcing. Estimates of the terms in the turbulent kinetic energy equation indicate that, unlike in a flow past a rigid boundary, the dissipation rates cannot be balanced by local production terms, suggesting that the transport of TKE is important in the ocean surface boundary layer. A simple analytic model containing parameterizations of production, dissipation, and transport reproduces key features of the vertical profile of TKE, including enhancement near the surface. The effective turbulent diffusion coefficient for heat is larger than would be expected in a rigid-boundary boundary layer. This diffusion coefficient is predicted reasonably well by a model that contains the effects of shear production, buoyancy forcing, and transport of TKE (thought to be related to wave breaking). Neglect of buoyancy forcing or wave breaking in the parameterization results in poor predictions of turbulent diffusivity. Langmuir turbulence was detected concurrently with a fraction of the turbulence quantities reported here, but these times did not stand out as having significant differences from observations when Langmuir turbulence was not detected.
    Description: The Office of Naval Research funded this work as a part of CBLAST-Low.
    Keywords: Turbulence ; Boundary layer ; Sea/ocean surface ; Air-sea interaction ; Energy transport
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. 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. 37 (2007): 2363-2386, doi:10.1175/jpo3118.1.
    Description: Intrinsic low-frequency variability is studied in the idealized, quasigeostrophic, midlatitude, wind-driven ocean gyres operating at large Reynolds number. A robust decadal variability mode driven by the transient mesoscale eddies is found and analyzed. The variability is a turbulent phenomenon, which is driven by the competition between the eddy rectification process and the potential vorticity anomalies induced by changes of the intergyre transport
    Description: Funding for Pavel Berloff was provided by NSF Grants OCE-0091836 and OCE- 0344094, by the U.K. Royal Society Fellowship, and by the Newton Trust Award, A. M. Hogg was supported by an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (DP0449851) during this work, and William K. Dewar was supported by NSF Grants OCE-0424227 and OCE-0550139.
    Keywords: Turbulence ; Gyres ; Transport ; Potential vorticity ; Mesoscale processes
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. 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 37 (2007): 1103-1121, doi:10.1175/jpo3041.1.
    Description: The role of mesoscale oceanic eddies is analyzed in a quasigeostrophic coupled ocean–atmosphere model operating at a large Reynolds number. The model dynamics are characterized by decadal variability that involves nonlinear adjustment of the ocean to coherent north–south shifts of the atmosphere. The oceanic eddy effects are diagnosed by the dynamical decomposition method adapted for nonstationary external forcing. The main effects of the eddies are an enhancement of the oceanic eastward jet separating the subpolar and subtropical gyres and a weakening of the gyres. The flow-enhancing effect is due to nonlinear rectification driven by fluctuations of the eddy forcing. This is a nonlocal process involving generation of the eddies by the flow instabilities in the western boundary current and the upstream part of the eastward jet. The eddies are advected by the mean current to the east, where they backscatter into the rectified enhancement of the eastward jet. The gyre-weakening effect, which is due to the time-mean buoyancy component of the eddy forcing, is a result of the baroclinic instability of the westward return currents. The diagnosed eddy forcing is parameterized in a non-eddy-resolving ocean model, as a nonstationary random process, in which the corresponding parameters are derived from the control coupled simulation. The key parameter of the random process—its variance—is related to the large-scale flow baroclinicity index. It is shown that the coupled model with the non-eddy-resolving ocean component and the parameterized eddies correctly simulates climatology and low-frequency variability of the control eddy-resolving coupled solution.
    Description: Funding for this work came from NSF Grants OCE 02-221066 and OCE 03-44094. Additional funding for PB was provided by the U.K. Royal Society Fellowship and by WHOI Grants 27100056 and 52990035.
    Keywords: Ocean dynamics ; Ocean models ; Eddies ; Jets ; Coupled models
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. 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 37 (2007): 1496-1511, doi:10.1175/jpo3071.1.
    Description: Measurements collected in the York River estuary, Virginia, demonstrate the important impact that tidal and lateral asymmetries in turbulent mixing have on the tidally averaged residual circulation. A reduction in turbulent mixing during the ebb phase of the tide caused by tidal straining of the axial density gradient results in increased vertical velocity shear throughout the water column during the ebb tide. In the absence of significant lateral differences in turbulent mixing, the enhanced ebb-directed transport caused by tidal straining is balanced by a reduction in the net seaward-directed barotropic pressure gradient, resulting in laterally uniform two-layer residual flow. However, the channel–shoal morphology of many drowned river valley estuaries often leads to lateral gradients in turbulent mixing. Tidal straining may then lead to tidal asymmetries in turbulent mixing near the deeper channel while the neighboring shoals remain relatively well mixed. As a result, the largest lateral asymmetries in turbulent mixing occur at the end of the ebb tide when the channel is significantly more stratified than the shoals. The reduced friction at the end of ebb delays the onset of the flood tide, increasing the duration of ebb in the channel. Conversely, over the shoal regions where stratification is more inhibited by tidal mixing, there is greater friction and the transition from ebb to flood occurs more rapidly. The resulting residual circulation is seaward over the channel and landward over the shoal. The shoal–channel segregation of this barotropically induced estuarine residual flow is opposite to that typically associated with baroclinic estuarine circulation over channel–shoal bathymetry.
    Description: Support for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation Division of Ocean Sciences Grant OCE- 9984941.
    Keywords: Tides ; Ocean circulation ; Estuaries ; Turbulence
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  • 57
    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): 2381-2400, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4403.1.
    Description: Langmuir circulation (LC) is a turbulent upper-ocean process driven by wind and surface waves that contributes significantly to the transport of momentum, heat, and mass in the oceanic surface layer. The authors have previously performed a direct comparison of large-eddy simulations and observations of the upper-ocean response to a wind event with rapid mixed layer deepening. The evolution of simulated crosswind velocity variance and spatial scales, as well as mixed layer deepening, was only consistent with observations if LC effects are included in the model. Based on an analysis of these validated simulations, in this study the fundamental differences in mixing between purely shear-driven turbulence and turbulence with LC are identified. In the former case, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) production due to shear instabilities is largest near the surface, gradually decreasing to zero near the base of the mixed layer. This stands in contrast to the LC case in which at middepth range TKE production can be dominated by Stokes drift shear. Furthermore, the Eulerian mean vertical shear peaks near the base of the mixed layer so that TKE production by mean shear flow is elevated there. LC transports horizontal momentum efficiently downward leading to an along-wind velocity jet below LC downwelling regions at the base of the mixed layer. Locally enhanced vertical shear instabilities as a result of this jet efficiently erode the thermocline. In turn, enhanced breaking internal waves inject cold deep water into the mixed layer, where LC currents transport temperature perturbation advectively. Thus, LC and locally generated shear instabilities work intimately together to facilitate strongly the mixed layer deepening process.
    Description: This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research through Grants N00014-09-M-0112 (TK) and N00014-06-1-0178 (AP, JT). Author TK also received support from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research Postdoctoral Scholarship.
    Keywords: Mixed layer ; Shear structure/flows ; Wind effects ; Turbulence ; Thermocline ; Internal waves ; Advection
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 39 (2009): 3162-3175, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4239.1.
    Description: This study analyzes anisotropic properties of the material transport by eddies and eddy-driven zonal jets in a general circulation model of the North Atlantic through the analysis of Lagrangian particle trajectories. Spreading rates—defined here as half the rate of change in the particle dispersion—in the zonal direction systematically exceed the meridional rates by an order of magnitude. Area-averaged values for the upper-ocean zonal and meridional spreading rates are approximately 8100 and 1400 m2 s−1, respectively, and in the deep ocean they are 2400 and 200 m2 s−1. The results demonstrate that this anisotropy is mainly due to the action of the transient eddies and not to the shear dispersion associated with the time-mean jets. This property is consistent with the fact that eddies in this study have zonally elongated shapes. With the exception of the upper-ocean subpolar gyre, eddies also cause the superdiffusive zonal spreading, significant variations in the spreading rate in the vertical and meridional directions, and the difference between the westward and eastward spreading.
    Description: Funding for IK was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0346178, 0749722, and 0842834. Funding for PB was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0344094 and OCE 0725796 and by the research grant from the Newton Trust of the University of Cambridge. For JP the acknowledgement is to NSF OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Transport ; Currents ; North Atlantic Ocean
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 39 (2009): 1361-1379, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4096.1.
    Description: Multiple zonal jets are observed in satellite data–based estimates of oceanic velocities, float measurements, and high-resolution numerical simulations of the ocean circulation. This study makes a step toward understanding the dynamics of these jets in the real ocean by analyzing the vertical structure and dynamical balances within multiple zonal jets simulated in an eddy-resolving primitive equation model of the North Atlantic. In particular, the authors focus on the role of eddy flux convergences (“eddy forcing”) in supporting the buoyancy and relative/potential vorticity (PV) anomalies associated with the jets. The results suggest a central role of baroclinic eddies in the barotropic and baroclinic dynamics of the jets, and significant differences in the effects of eddy forcing between the subtropical and subpolar gyres. Additionally, diabatic potential vorticity sources and sinks, associated with vertical diffusion, are shown to play an important role in supporting the potential vorticity anomalies. The resulting potential vorticity profile does not resemble a “PV staircase”—a distinct meridional structure observed in some idealized studies of geostrophic turbulence.
    Description: Funding for IK was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0346178 and 0749722. Funding for PB was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0344094 and OCE 0725796 and by the research grant from the Newton Trust of the University of Cambridge. For JP the acknowledgement is to NSF OCE-0451086.