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Free Content Isentropic averaging

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The equations of motion, thermodynamics and scalar concentration are averaged separately over infra-grid scales (comprising roughly ocean microstructure scales) and sub-grid scales (encompassing 10–100 km scales), the latter average being carried out on constant potential temperature surfaces. (Since variation of salinity has been neglected, potential temperature is synonymous with entropy.) These methods of averaging are used to lend precision to statements about oceanic turbulent diffusion: that infra-grid scales are primarily responsible for dientropic diffusion; and that sub-grid scales are responsible for along-isentropic diffusion of passive scalars. Equivalent sets of averaged equations expressed either in isentropic coordinates or quasi-Cartesian coordinates can be obtained. Diffusion tensors for potential temperature express only infra-grid effects. For other passive tracers, diffusion caused by sub-grid scales of motion is also felt, whose effects are shown by scale analysis to be oriented principally along infra-grid averaged isentropes.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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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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