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A Modified Finescale Parameterization for Turbulent Mixing in the Western Equatorial Pacific

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  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  • | 2 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Guangzhou, China
  • | 3 Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Operational Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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Abstract

Finescale parameterizations are of great importance to explore the turbulent mixing in the open ocean due to the difficulty of microstructure measurements. Studies based on finescale parameterizations have greatly aided our knowledge of the turbulent mixing in the open ocean. In this study, we introduce a modified finescale parameterization (MMG) based on shear/strain variance ratio Rω and compare it with three existing parameterizations, namely, the MacKinnon–Gregg (MG) parameterization, the Gregg–Henyey–Polzin (GHP) parameterization based on shear and strain variances, and the GHP parameterization based on strain variance. The result indicates that the prediction of MG parameterization is the best, followed by the MMG parameterization, then the shear-and-strain-based GHP parameterization, and finally the strain-based GHP parameterization. The strain-based GHP parameterization is less effective than the shear-and-strain-based GHP parameterization, which is mainly due to its excessive dependence on stratification. The predictions of the strain-based MMG parameterization can be comparable to that of the MG parameterization and better than that of the shear-and-strain-based GHP parameterization. Most importantly, MMG parameterization is even effective over rough topography where the GHP parameterization fails. This modified MMG parameterization with prescribed Rω can be applied to extensive CTD data. It would be a useful tool for researchers to explore the turbulent mixing in the open ocean.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao-Dong Shang, xdshang@scsio.ac.cn

Abstract

Finescale parameterizations are of great importance to explore the turbulent mixing in the open ocean due to the difficulty of microstructure measurements. Studies based on finescale parameterizations have greatly aided our knowledge of the turbulent mixing in the open ocean. In this study, we introduce a modified finescale parameterization (MMG) based on shear/strain variance ratio Rω and compare it with three existing parameterizations, namely, the MacKinnon–Gregg (MG) parameterization, the Gregg–Henyey–Polzin (GHP) parameterization based on shear and strain variances, and the GHP parameterization based on strain variance. The result indicates that the prediction of MG parameterization is the best, followed by the MMG parameterization, then the shear-and-strain-based GHP parameterization, and finally the strain-based GHP parameterization. The strain-based GHP parameterization is less effective than the shear-and-strain-based GHP parameterization, which is mainly due to its excessive dependence on stratification. The predictions of the strain-based MMG parameterization can be comparable to that of the MG parameterization and better than that of the shear-and-strain-based GHP parameterization. Most importantly, MMG parameterization is even effective over rough topography where the GHP parameterization fails. This modified MMG parameterization with prescribed Rω can be applied to extensive CTD data. It would be a useful tool for researchers to explore the turbulent mixing in the open ocean.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao-Dong Shang, xdshang@scsio.ac.cn
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