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Free Content Flux measurements across a finger interface at low values of the stability ratio

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We present the results of laboratory experiments across a sharp finger interface using heat and salt as the properties which contribute to density. Values of the stability ratio Rp as low as 1.2 were achieved so the results approach the range of Rp which is of interest in the ocean. The buoyancy flux ratio, corrected for vertical heat conduction, Rf* was found to depend on Rp, but at Rp = 1.2, Rf* is still only 0.65 ± 0.1. Values of Stern's number

A = Fs(l – Rf)/(αTz – Sz)

were found to depend on the magnitude of the step in salinity across the interface as well as on Rp. Most of our experiments were performed with small contrasts in salinity between the layers and Stern's number was found to increase as this salinity difference decreased. On the basis of our measurements of A, we believe that pure vertical heat conduction will not be significant in the ocean.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-02-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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