Authors: Mueller, R.D., W.D. Smyth, B. Ruddick

Year: 2007

Title: Shear and Convective Turbulence in a Model of Thermohaline Intrusions

Journal: Journal of Physical Oceanography


Salt and heat diffuse at different rates.  This double diffusion is important for ocean circulation and is thought to create coherent structures across the Arctic where warmer and saltier layers of seawater are interleaved with cooler and fresher layers of seawater.  This interleaving laterally mixes salt, heat, and nutrients between water masses.  In this paper, we use a 1-dimension model to explore small-scale, mixing dynamics in the interleaving structure.  The model described in Walsh and Ruddick is modified to include both the effects of shear-induced turbulence and an improved convective mixing parameterization.  We show that shear and convective mixing play a similar and significant role in interleaving dynamics.


The photo is of a ice tendril caused by the double diffusion of heat and salt beneath seaice, in Antarctica.
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