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Estimating mixing rates from seismic images of oceanic structure

Estimating mixing rates from seismic images of oceanic structure
Estimating mixing rates from seismic images of oceanic structure
An improved understanding of the spatial distribution of diapycnal mixing in the oceans is the key to elucidating how meridional overturning circulation is closed. The challenge is to develop techniques which can be used to determine the variation of diapycnal mixing as a function of space and time throughout the oceanic volume. One promising approach exploits seismic reflection imaging of thermohaline structure. We have applied spectral analysis techniques to fine-structure undulations observed on a seismic transect close to the Subantarctic Front in the South Atlantic Ocean. 91 horizontal spectra were fitted using a linear combination of a Garrett-Munk tow spectrum for internal waves and a Batchelor model for turbulence. The fit between theory and observation is excellent and enables us to deduce the spatial variability and context of diapycnal mixing rates, which range from 10?5 to 10?3.5m2s?1.
0094-8276
L00D04
Sheen, K.L.
11fc9ce4-1a9a-4925-ae04-816e5e8660ae
White, N.J.
64c70386-b744-4fb5-9be6-3aec85f9a9e2
Hobbs, R.W.
a9a99163-c8a3-4d29-b673-61260be15157
Sheen, K.L.
11fc9ce4-1a9a-4925-ae04-816e5e8660ae
White, N.J.
64c70386-b744-4fb5-9be6-3aec85f9a9e2
Hobbs, R.W.
a9a99163-c8a3-4d29-b673-61260be15157

Sheen, K.L., White, N.J. and Hobbs, R.W. (2009) Estimating mixing rates from seismic images of oceanic structure. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L00D04. (doi:10.1029/2009GL040106).

Record type: Article

Abstract

An improved understanding of the spatial distribution of diapycnal mixing in the oceans is the key to elucidating how meridional overturning circulation is closed. The challenge is to develop techniques which can be used to determine the variation of diapycnal mixing as a function of space and time throughout the oceanic volume. One promising approach exploits seismic reflection imaging of thermohaline structure. We have applied spectral analysis techniques to fine-structure undulations observed on a seismic transect close to the Subantarctic Front in the South Atlantic Ocean. 91 horizontal spectra were fitted using a linear combination of a Garrett-Munk tow spectrum for internal waves and a Batchelor model for turbulence. The fit between theory and observation is excellent and enables us to deduce the spatial variability and context of diapycnal mixing rates, which range from 10?5 to 10?3.5m2s?1.

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Published date: 2009
Organisations: Physical Oceanography

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Local EPrints ID: 342461
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/342461
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: a07b17c3-09d1-4e5d-ab4d-c997621de903

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Date deposited: 30 Aug 2012 10:54
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:29

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Author: K.L. Sheen
Author: N.J. White
Author: R.W. Hobbs

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