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Dissipation of mesoscale eddies and its contribution to mixing in the northern South China Sea


Yang, Q and Nikurashin, M and Sasaki, H and Sun, H and Tian, J, Dissipation of mesoscale eddies and its contribution to mixing in the northern South China Sea, Scientific Reports, 9 Article 556. ISSN 2045-2322 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-018-36610-x


It is reported that turbulent mixing is enhanced in the South China Sea (SCS), and it is highly variable in both space and time. Generation and breaking of internal tides has been identified as the main process to drive turbulent mixing in the SCS, while the contributions from other processes are not clear enough. Here we investigate the potential contribution from mesoscale eddies to turbulent mixing in the SCS using a high resolution numerical simulation. Our results show that mesoscale eddies in the SCS effectively dissipate over complex rough topography and indicate that the generation of submesoscale motions and lee waves are two pathways for the transfer of mesoscale eddy energy down to small dissipation scales. The energy loss from mesoscale eddies near the Xisha Islands is estimated to be sufficient to sustain turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate of O (10−8) W/kg. This study suggests an alternative and potentially efficient mechanism to internal tides for the local maintenance of turbulent mixing in the SCS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:lee waves, ocean mixing, mesoscale eddies, ocean 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:Nikurashin, M (Dr Maxim Nikurashin)
ID Code:130580
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150100937)
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-02-04
Last Modified:2020-07-16
Downloads:99 View Download Statistics

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