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Pulse-to-Pulse Coherent Doppler Measurements of Waves and Turbulence

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  • 1 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California
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Abstract

This paper presents laboratory and field testing of a pulse-to-pulse coherent acoustic Doppler profiler for the measurement of turbulence in the ocean. In the laboratory, velocities and wavenumber spectra collected from Doppler and digital particle image velocimeter measurements compare very well. Turbulent velocities are obtained by identifying and filtering out deep water gravity waves in Fourier space and inverting the result. Spectra of the velocity profiles then reveal the presence of an inertial subrange in the turbulence generated by unsteady breaking waves. In the field, comparison of the profiler velocity records with a single-point current measurement is satisfactory. Again wavenumber spectra are directly measured and exhibit an approximate −5/3 slope. It is concluded that the instrument is capable of directly resolving the wavenumber spectral levels in the inertial subrange under breaking waves, and therefore is capable of measuring dissipation and other turbulence parameters in the upper mixed layer or surface-wave zone.

Corresponding author address: Prof. W. Kendall Melville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0213.

Email: kmelville@ucsd.edu

Abstract

This paper presents laboratory and field testing of a pulse-to-pulse coherent acoustic Doppler profiler for the measurement of turbulence in the ocean. In the laboratory, velocities and wavenumber spectra collected from Doppler and digital particle image velocimeter measurements compare very well. Turbulent velocities are obtained by identifying and filtering out deep water gravity waves in Fourier space and inverting the result. Spectra of the velocity profiles then reveal the presence of an inertial subrange in the turbulence generated by unsteady breaking waves. In the field, comparison of the profiler velocity records with a single-point current measurement is satisfactory. Again wavenumber spectra are directly measured and exhibit an approximate −5/3 slope. It is concluded that the instrument is capable of directly resolving the wavenumber spectral levels in the inertial subrange under breaking waves, and therefore is capable of measuring dissipation and other turbulence parameters in the upper mixed layer or surface-wave zone.

Corresponding author address: Prof. W. Kendall Melville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0213.

Email: kmelville@ucsd.edu

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