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Mixing rates and bottom drag in Bering Strait

TitleMixing rates and bottom drag in Bering Strait
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCouto N., Alford MH, MacKinnon J., Mickett J.B
Date Published2020/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-3670
Accession NumberWOS:000522399300009
Keywordsair-sea fluxes; Arctic; bulk parameterization; circulation; continental-shelf; dissipation; flow-through; heat fluxes; oceanography; pacific; transport; turbulence; water

Three shipboard survey lines were occupied in Bering Strait during autumn of 2015, where high-resolution measurements of temperature, salinity, velocity, and turbulent dissipation rates were collected. These first-reported turbulence measurements in Bering Strait show that dissipation rates here are high even during calm winds. High turbulence in the strait has important implications for the modification of water properties during transit from the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean. Measured diffusivities averaging 2 x 10(-2) m(2) s(-1) are capable of causing watermass property changes of 0.1 degrees C and 0.1 psu during the similar to 1-2-day transit through the narrowest part of the strait. We estimate friction velocity using both the dissipation and profile methods and find a bottom drag coefficient of 2.3 (+/- 0.4) x 10(-3). This result is smaller than values typically used to estimate bottom stress in the region and may improve predictions of transport variability through Bering Strait.

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