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Glider measurements of overturning in a Kelvin-Helmholtz billow train

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The prospects for glider-based measurement of turbulence statistics are assessed using direct numerical simulation data representing breaking Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) billows in a stratified, parallel shear flow. Transects tilted upstream against the shear tend to produce overestimates of overturning; those tilted with the shear produce underestimates. Low-angle transects can produce illusory overturning as the braid between the KH billows is crossed. Statistical features of the bias in displacement scales are related to geometrical aspects of KH billows. Results are interpreted in the context of a hypothetical effort to characterize overturning in a strongly sheared current (e.g. the Equatorial Undercurrent) using nonvertical profiles.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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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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