We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on earlier versions of the paper. MV acknowledges financial support for a six week long visit to Kiel by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under SFB460 “Dynamik thermohaliner Zirkulationsschwankungen” and grants from Office of Naval Research under N00014-98-1-0302 and N00014-96-1-0573. The final version of the manuscript was prepared during a visit of MV at CSIRO, Hobart. MV is indebted to Trevor McDougall for his hospitality and stimulating discussions on bottom boundary layer mixing. Financial support for MR was given by the BMBF (ARKTIEF Project Grant 03F 0178 B). MR thanks the captain and crew of the RV Valdivia 166 cruise for technical support.
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