Enhanced Diapycnal Diffusivity in Intrusive Regions of the Drake Passage
Author(s)Laurent, Louis St.; Owens, Breck; Thurnherr, Andreas M.; Toole, John M.; Merrifield, Sophia Tiare
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Direct measurements of oceanic turbulent parameters were taken upstream of and across Drake Passage, in the region of the Subantarctic and Polar Fronts. Values of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ε estimated by microstructure are up to two orders of magnitude lower than previously published estimates in the upper 1000 m. Turbulence levels in Drake Passage are systematically higher than values upstream, regardless of season. The dissipation of thermal variance χ is enhanced at middepth throughout the surveys, with the highest values found in northern Drake Passage, where water mass variability is the most pronounced. Using the density ratio, evidence for double-diffusive instability is presented. Subject to double-diffusive physics, the estimates of diffusivity using the Osborn–Cox method are larger than ensemble statistics based on ε and the buoyancy frequency.
Journal of Physical Oceanography
American Meteorological Society
Merrifield, Sophia T. et al. “Enhanced Diapycnal Diffusivity in Intrusive Regions of the Drake Passage.” Journal of Physical Oceanography 46.4 (2016): 1309–1321. © 2016 American Meteorological Society
Final published version