Speaker : Takashi Ijichi (WHOI)
Title: Observed variations in turbulent mixing efficiency in the deep ocean
Abstract: Recent progress in direct numerical simulations (DNSs) of stratified turbulent flows has led to increasing attention to the validity of the constancy of the dissipation flux coefficient Γ in the Osborn’s eddy diffusivity model. Motivated by lack of observational estimates of Γ, particularly under weakly stratified deep-ocean conditions, this study estimates Γ using deep microstructure profiles collected in various regions of the North Pacific and Southern Oceans. It is shown that Γ is not constant but varies significantly with the Ozmidov/Thorpe scale ratio Rot in a fashion similar to that obtained by previous DNS studies. Efficient mixing events with Γ ~ O(1) and Rot ~ O(0.1) tend to be frequently observed in the deep ocean (i.e., weak stratification), while moderate mixing events with Γ ~ O(0.1) and Rot ~ O(1) tend to be observed in the upper ocean (i.e., strong stratification). The observed negative relationship between Γ and Rot is consistent with a simple scaling that can be derived from classical turbulence theories. In contrast, the observed results exhibit no definite relationships between Γ and the buoyancy Reynolds number Reb, although Reb has long been thought to be another key parameter that controls Γ.