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Comment on “Dynamical model of mesoscales in z-coordinates” and “The effect of mesoscales on the tracer equation in z-coordinates OGCMs” by V.M. Canuto and M.S. Dubovikov

Comment on “Dynamical model of mesoscales in z-coordinates” and “The effect of mesoscales on the tracer equation in z-coordinates OGCMs” by V.M. Canuto and M.S. Dubovikov
Comment on “Dynamical model of mesoscales in z-coordinates” and “The effect of mesoscales on the tracer equation in z-coordinates OGCMs” by V.M. Canuto and M.S. Dubovikov
Canuto and Dubovikov [Canuto, V.M., Dubovikov, M.S., 2006. Dynamical model of mesoscales in z-coordinates. Ocean Modelling, 11, 123–166; Canuto, V.M., Dubovikov, M.S., 2007. The effect of mesoscales on the tracer equation in z-coordinates OGCMs. Ocean Modelling 16, 17–27] claim that present oceanographic models ignore a leading-order diapycnal term in the mean buoyancy and tracer equations, while previously published work shows this is not the case. It is important for the density and tracer equations of ocean models to be diabatic only to the extent of imposed diapycnal mixing. Present ocean modelling practice does achieve this property but the equations and parameterizations of Canuto and Dubovikov do not. Canuto and Dubovikov also argue that the same “missing” term in the mean buoyancy equation leads to extra diapycnal advection across mean isopycnals that should be included in the diapycnal advection–diffusion balance in the deep ocean. We show that this is incorrect: the relevant mean diapycnal advection of the Munk-Wunsch advective-diffusive balance is caused by small-scale mixing processes and processes due to the non-linear nature of the equation of state, not by the four so-called “mesoscale-adiabatic” terms identified by Canuto and Dubovikov.
1463-5003
163-171
McDougall, Trevor J.
06a3853b-ba2c-4203-8a7d-34dd0e0a8836
Gent, Peter R.
1a1ae73e-14b2-4c42-918a-f0722fca11d6
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
McDougall, Trevor J.
06a3853b-ba2c-4203-8a7d-34dd0e0a8836
Gent, Peter R.
1a1ae73e-14b2-4c42-918a-f0722fca11d6
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13

McDougall, Trevor J., Gent, Peter R. and Drijfhout, Sybren (2007) Comment on “Dynamical model of mesoscales in z-coordinates” and “The effect of mesoscales on the tracer equation in z-coordinates OGCMs” by V.M. Canuto and M.S. Dubovikov. Ocean Modelling, 17 (2), 163-171. (doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2006.11.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Canuto and Dubovikov [Canuto, V.M., Dubovikov, M.S., 2006. Dynamical model of mesoscales in z-coordinates. Ocean Modelling, 11, 123–166; Canuto, V.M., Dubovikov, M.S., 2007. The effect of mesoscales on the tracer equation in z-coordinates OGCMs. Ocean Modelling 16, 17–27] claim that present oceanographic models ignore a leading-order diapycnal term in the mean buoyancy and tracer equations, while previously published work shows this is not the case. It is important for the density and tracer equations of ocean models to be diabatic only to the extent of imposed diapycnal mixing. Present ocean modelling practice does achieve this property but the equations and parameterizations of Canuto and Dubovikov do not. Canuto and Dubovikov also argue that the same “missing” term in the mean buoyancy equation leads to extra diapycnal advection across mean isopycnals that should be included in the diapycnal advection–diffusion balance in the deep ocean. We show that this is incorrect: the relevant mean diapycnal advection of the Munk-Wunsch advective-diffusive balance is caused by small-scale mixing processes and processes due to the non-linear nature of the equation of state, not by the four so-called “mesoscale-adiabatic” terms identified by Canuto and Dubovikov.

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Published date: 2007
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

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Local EPrints ID: 349151
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349151
ISSN: 1463-5003
PURE UUID: a233645c-50cb-48b8-8f1f-3fa9b00022e5

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2013 10:34
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 02:59

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Contributors

Author: Trevor J. McDougall
Author: Peter R. Gent

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