Estimates of Energy Dissipation Rates in the Three-Dimensional Deep Ocean Internal Wave Field

Authors: Watanabe, Michio1; Hibiya, Toshiyuki2

Source: Journal of Oceanography, Volume 61, Number 1, February 2005 , pp. 123-127(5)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

Using the “Eikonal Approach” (Henyey et al., 1986), we estimate energy dissipation rates in the three-dimensional Garrett-Munk internal wave field. The total energy dissipation rate within the undisturbed GM internal wave field is found to be 4.34 × 10−9 W kg−1. This corresponds to a diapycnal diffusivity of about 0.3 × 10−4 m2s−1, which is less than the value 10−4 m2s−1 required to sustain the global ocean overturning circulation. Only when the high vertical wavenumber, near-inertial current shear is enhanced can diapycnal diffusivity reach ∼10−4 m2s−1. It follows that the energy supplied at low vertical wavenumbers and low frequencies is efficiently transferred to high vertical wavenumbers and near-inertial frequencies in the mixing hotspots in the real ocean.

Keywords: Eikonal Approach; Turbulence; diffusivity and mixing processes; internal and inertial waves; nonlinear dynamics; numerical modeling

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10872-005-0025-3

Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan, Email: nabe@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp 2: Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan,

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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