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Free Content On the development of thermohaline correlations as a result of nonlinear diffusive parameterizations

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Abstract:

Some oceanographic mixing parameterizations assume that transports depend nonlinearly on the buoyancy gradient; e.g., diffusivities are proportional to some power of the buoyancy gradient. In this paper we examine the consequences of these nonlinear-diffusion parameterizations by solving an initial value problem in which the t = 0 thermohaline fields are prepared as random and uncorrelated distributions of temperature and salinity. Solutions of the nonlinear diffusion equation as a ‘rundown’ problem show that correlations develop between the temperature and salinity. These correlations are such that the evolving thermohaline gradients tend to be strongly compensating in their joint effect on buoyancy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1357/0022240973224094

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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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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