Measurements of the Vertical Heat Flux in the Upper Ocean Layer

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  • 1 Ocean Sciences Division, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D. C. 20375
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Abstract

By measuring the time rate of change of temperature in the upper 65 m of the sea at night with a precision sounding device, the amount of heat transported upward at various depths and through the sea surface as a function of time during the night was determined. The heat flux through any surface of depth z was given by e−αt (1−Az) for z<zmax (40–65 m). The amount of heat released from the sea surface ranged from 1.34 to 0.311 ly min−1, the release rate decreasing with time after sunset.

The data also allowed estimates of the spatially averaged thermal boundary layer thickness in the sea surface, 0.2 cm or less.

Abstract

By measuring the time rate of change of temperature in the upper 65 m of the sea at night with a precision sounding device, the amount of heat transported upward at various depths and through the sea surface as a function of time during the night was determined. The heat flux through any surface of depth z was given by e−αt (1−Az) for z<zmax (40–65 m). The amount of heat released from the sea surface ranged from 1.34 to 0.311 ly min−1, the release rate decreasing with time after sunset.

The data also allowed estimates of the spatially averaged thermal boundary layer thickness in the sea surface, 0.2 cm or less.

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