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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: February 1, 1984

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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