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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.58

Using Global Arrays to Investigate Internal-Waves and Mixing

Jennifer MacKinnon(1), Matthew Alford(2), Pascale Bouruet-Aubertot(3), Nathan Bindoff(4), Shane Elipot(5), Sarah Gille(6), James Girton(2), Mike Gregg(2), Robert Hallberg(7), Eric Kunze(8), Alberto Naveira Garabato(9), Helen Phillips(4), Rob Pinkel(6), Kurt Polzin(10), Tom Sanford(11), Harper Simmons(12), Kevin Speer(13)

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Turbulent diapycnal mixing in the ocean controls the transport of heat, freshwater, dissolved gases, nutrients, and pollutants. Though many present generation climate models represent turbulent mixing with a simplistic diffusivity below the surface mixed layer, the last two decades of ocean mixing research have instead revealed dramatic spatial and temporal heterogeneity in ocean mixing. Climate models that do not appropriately represent the turbulent fluxes of heat, momentum, and CO2 across critical interfaces will not accurately represent the ocean's role in present or future climate. An accurate picture of the worldwide geography of mixing requires a vastly increased database of observations. Unfortunately, traditional microstructure estimates of turbulent mixing are expensive, difficult, and rare. A key development of the last decade has been the development of tools to estimate the turbulent mixing rate from finescale (order 10-50 meter resolution) measurements of internal-wave shear and vertical strain. Global arrays such as the Argo program provide an unprecedented and as yet underdeveloped opportunity to define the global internal wave climate, and in turn identify mixing patterns and hotspots.

1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Dr, M/C 0213 92093 La Jolla, CA (US)
2University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th St 98105-6698 Seattle (US)
3Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et approches numériques/Institut Pierre Simon Laplace locean(IPSL), 4, place Jussieu 75252 PARIS Cedex 05. , France
4University of Tasmania, Private Bag 76, Hobart TAS, 7001, Australia
5Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Joseph Proudman Bldg,, 6 Brownlow St, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 5DA, United Kingdom
6Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Dr, M/C 0213 92093 La Jolla, CA USA
7Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Forrestal Campus, 201 Forrestal Road, Princeton, NJ 08540-6649, USA
8University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria BC V8W 2Y2 Canada
9Natinal Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton, SO14 3ZH UK
10Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
11University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th St 98105-6698 Seattle USA
12University of Alaska, 907 Yukon Dr, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA
13Florida State University, 600 W. College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840 USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: jmackinn@ucsd.edu

This paper shall be cited as:

MacKinnon, J. & Co-Authors (2010). "Using Global Arrays to Investigate Internal-Waves and Mixing " in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.58

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