WANG Zhifeng, WU Kejian, XIA Changshui, ZHANG Xiaoshuang. The impact of surface waves on the mixing of the upper ocean[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2014, 33(9): 32-39. doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0514-6
Citation: WANG Zhifeng, WU Kejian, XIA Changshui, ZHANG Xiaoshuang. The impact of surface waves on the mixing of the upper ocean[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2014, 33(9): 32-39. doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0514-6

The impact of surface waves on the mixing of the upper ocean

doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0514-6
  • Received Date: 2013-03-28
  • Rev Recd Date: 2013-06-09
  • A new three-dimensional numerical model is derived through a wave average on the primitive N-S equations, in which both the "Coriolis-Stokes forcing" and the "Stokes-Vortex force" are considered. Three ideal experiments are run using the new model applied to the Princeton ocean model (POM). Numerical results show that surface waves play an important role on the mixing of the upper ocean. The mixed layer is enhanced when wave effect is considered in conjunction with small Langmuir numbers. Both surface wave breaking and Stokes production can strengthen the turbulent mixing near the surface. However, the influence of wave breaking is limited to a thin layer, but Stokes drift can affect the whole mixed layer. Furthermore, the vertical mixing coefficients clearly rise in the mixed layer, and the upper ocean mixed layer is deepened especially in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current when the model is applied to global simulations. It indicates that the surface gravity waves are indispensable in enhancing the mixing in the upper ocean, and should be accounted for in ocean general circulation models.
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