Upper-ocean mixing due to surface gravity waves
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, ISSN 2169-9275, E-ISSN 2169-9291, Vol. 120, no 12, 8210-8228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Surface gravity waves play an important role in the lower layer of the atmosphere and the upper layer of the ocean. Surface waves effect upper-ocean mixing mainly through four processes: wave breaking, Stokes drift interaction with the Coriolis force, Langmuir circulation, and stirring by nonbreaking waves. We introduce the impact of these four processes into a 1-D ocean turbulence model. The parameterizations used are based mainly on existing investigations. Comparison of simulation results and measurements demonstrates that considering all the effects of waves, rather than just one effect, significantly improves model performance. The nonbreaking-wave-induced mixing and Langmuir turbulence are the most important terms when considering the impact of waves on upper-ocean mixing. Under high-wave conditions, the turbulent mixing induced by nonbreaking waves can be of the same order of magnitude as the viscosity induced by other terms at the surface. Nonbreaking waves contribute very little to shear production and their impact is negligible in the models. Sensitivity experiments demonstrate that the vertical profile of the Stokes drift calculated from the 2-D wave spectrum improves model performance significantly compared with other methods of introducing wave effects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 120, no 12, 8210-8228 p.
ocean mixing; nonbreaking waves; Langmuir circulation; Coriolis-Stokes forcing; breaking waves
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270913DOI: 10.1002/2015JC011329ISI: 000369153200027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270913DiVA: diva2:890836
FunderSwedish Research Council, 2012-3902