Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Keywords

anistropic turbulence, dispersive waves, wave-turbulence interaction

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1029/2009GL038632

Abstract

Most geophysical flows encompass turbulence and internal and/or Rossby waves. We demonstrate that these two different classes of waves cause remarkably similar anomalies in the turbulent transport. While all scales in both types of flows contribute to the momentum diffusion, the vertical (diapycnal) scalar diffusion in stratified flows and lateral diffusion in β-plane turbulence can be carried out only by turbulent eddies whose size is smaller than the thresholds of turbulence anisotropization. Beyond these thresholds, both flows become dominated by waves that provide no contribution to the scalar diffusion. Stably stratified flows exhibit enhanced isopycnal diffusion of both momentum and scalar. These results shed new light on the Osborn mixing model, diapycnal and isopycnal viscosity and diffusivity, absence of the critical gradient Richardson number, and large scale meridional transport.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Geophysical Research Letters, v. 36, issue 14, art. L14609

©year. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

Share

COinS