Shear observations in the deep thermocline

John C. Van Leer, Claes G. Rooth

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Abstract

Photogrammetric evaluation of the rate of distortion of vertical dye streaks within the main oceanic thermocline indicates that spiraling perturbation structures overlay the large-scale vertical shear. The data show pronounced shear structure with vertical scales of a meter or less at depths of hundreds of meters. The shapes as well as strengths of the observed shear structure have a strong dependence on depth. At 400 m the major variations in shear had vertical length scales of about 10 to 20 m; the velocity amplites were of the order of 1 cm s-1, and the predominant spiral pitch was consistent with downward propagation of energy by internal gravity waves. Shallower observations suggest a lateral intrusion as a predominant shear source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalDeep-Sea Research and Oceanographic Abstracts
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1975

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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