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Energy loss from transient eddies due to lee wave generation in the Southern Ocean


Yang, L and Nikurashin, M and Hogg, AM and Sloyan, BM, Energy loss from transient eddies due to lee wave generation in the Southern Ocean, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48, (12) pp. 2867-2885. ISSN 0022-3670 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1175/JPO-D-18-0077.1


Observations suggest that enhanced turbulent dissipation and mixing over rough topography are modulated by the transient eddy field through the generation and breaking of lee waves in the Southern Ocean. Idealized simulations also suggest that lee waves are important in the energy pathway from eddies to turbulence. However, the energy loss from eddies due to lee wave generation remains poorly estimated. This study quantifies the relative energy loss from the time-mean and transient eddy flow in the Southern Ocean due to lee wave generation using an eddy-resolving global ocean model and three independent topographic datasets. The authors find that the energy loss from the transient eddy flow (0.12 TW; 1 TW = 1012 W) is larger than that from the time-mean flow (0.04 TW) due to lee wave generation; lee wave generation makes a larger contribution (0.12 TW) to the energy loss from the transient eddy flow than the dissipation in turbulent bottom boundary layer (0.05 TW). This study also shows that the energy loss from the time-mean flow is regulated by the transient eddy flow, and energy loss from the transient eddy flow is sensitive to the representation of anisotropy in small-scale topography. It is implied that lee waves should be parameterized in eddy-resolving global ocean models to improve the energetics of resolved flow.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:lee waves, ocean mixing, mesoscale eddies, parameterization, ocean models, Southern Ocean, Eddies, internal waves, topographic effects, diagnostics, general circulation models
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering
Research Field:Geophysical and environmental fluid flows
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition
UTAS Author:Yang, L (Miss Luwei Yang)
UTAS Author:Nikurashin, M (Dr Maxim Nikurashin)
ID Code:129621
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150100937)
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2018-12-10
Last Modified:2019-02-20
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