Scaling laws for the upper ocean temperature dissipation rate

Darek J. Bogucki, K. Huguenard, Brian K Haus, Tamay M Ozgokmen, A. Reniers, N. J M Laxague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our understanding of temperature dissipation rate χ within the upper ocean boundary layer, which is critical for climate forecasts, is very limited. Near-surface turbulence also affects dispersion of contaminants and biogeochemical tracers. Using high-resolution optical turbulence measurements, scaling laws for χ are investigated under forcing states where either the daytime heat flux or the wind stress forcing is dominant. We find that χ remains constant over 1.5 times the significant wave height, while over a layer below, χ decays based on the local surface forcing. When the heat flux is dominant, traditional scaling based on the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory remains valid; χ â? z-1. When the wind stress dominates, we observe the emergence of a new scaling, χ â? z-1/2, which is explained by invoking the effect of small-scale coherent structures on vertical heat transport. These results have implications for improved modeling of the ocean's heat and CO2 intake. Key Point We proposed a new χ scaling

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-846
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2015

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ocean temperature
upper ocean
wind stress
scaling laws
heat flux
dissipation
turbulence
scaling
significant wave height
oceans
heat
boundary layer
tracer
daytime
forecasting
climate
tracers
contaminants
pollutant
boundary layers

Keywords

  • upper ocean turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Scaling laws for the upper ocean temperature dissipation rate. / Bogucki, Darek J.; Huguenard, K.; Haus, Brian K; Ozgokmen, Tamay M; Reniers, A.; Laxague, N. J M.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, No. 3, 16.02.2015, p. 839-846.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bogucki, Darek J. ; Huguenard, K. ; Haus, Brian K ; Ozgokmen, Tamay M ; Reniers, A. ; Laxague, N. J M. / Scaling laws for the upper ocean temperature dissipation rate. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 42, No. 3. pp. 839-846.
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