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Gualtiero Badin, Amit Tandon, and Amala Mahadevan

–10 km) that are much smaller than the Rossby radius of deformation ( L d ~ 10–100 km) associated with the pycnocline. Submesoscale dynamics are characterized by the Rossby ( R 0 ) and Richardson (Ri) numbers attaining O (1) values locally, where R 0 ≡ ζ / f is the ratio of the vertical component of relative vorticity ζ = υ x − u y to planetary vorticity f , and , where U z 2 = u z 2 + υ z 2 is the square of the vertical shear of the horizontal velocity ( u , υ ). The vertical

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Daniel B. Whitt and Leif N. Thomas

context. To a large degree, mesoscale oceanic flows have a low Rossby number Ro g = ζ g / f ≪ 1. Hence, the geostrophic relative vorticity is small compared to the planetary vorticity ζ g ≪ f , and the effective Coriolis frequency F = ≈ f is not substantially modified. Thus, most previous studies on the generation of inertial oscillations in the ocean boundary layer have neglected relative vorticity effects (e.g., Pollard 1970 ; D’Asaro 1985 ; Crawford and Large 1996 ; Skyllingstad et

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Anne-Marie E. G. Brunner-Suzuki, Miles A. Sundermeyer, and M.-Pascale Lelong

-scale background wave does not limit, but rather excites, upscale energy transfer. What eventually limits the upscale transfer is still an open question. In the coastal ocean, bottom friction may impose such a limit. In the open ocean, characteristics of the flow, or the planetary Rhines scale, are more likely. Also, mesoscale shears and strains could impose a limit on upscale energy transfer. In essence, our results indicate that only the wave amplitude (through the forcing amplitude f w ) appears to matter

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