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Although the strongest ocean surface currents occur at horizontal scales of order 100 km, recent numerical simulations suggest that flows smaller than these mesoscale eddies can achieve important vertical transports in the upper ocean. These submesoscale flows, 1–100 km in horizontal extent, take heat and atmospheric gases down into the interior ocean, accelerating air–sea fluxes, and bring deep nutrients up into the sunlit surface layer, fueling primary production. Here we present observational evidence that submesoscale flows undergo a seasonal cycle in the surface mixed layer: they are much stronger in winter than in summer. Submesoscale flows are energized by baroclinic instabilities that develop around geostrophic eddies in the deep winter mixed layer at a horizontal scale of order 1–10 km. Flows larger than this instability scale are energized by turbulent scale interactions. Enhanced submesoscale activity in the winter mixed layer is expected to achieve efficient exchanges with the permanent thermocline below.

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Caltech Authors  


Callies, Jörn -  Ferrari, Raffaele -  Klymak, Jody M. -  Gula, Jonathan - 

Id.: 70873199

Versión: 1.0

Estado: Final

Tipo:  application/pdf - 

Tipo de recurso: Article  -  PeerReviewed  - 

Tipo de Interactividad: Expositivo

Nivel de Interactividad: muy bajo

Audiencia: Estudiante  -  Profesor  -  Autor  - 

Estructura: Atomic

Coste: no

Copyright: sí

Formatos:  application/pdf - 

Requerimientos técnicos:  Browser: Any - 

Relación: [References] http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180112-100116002
[References] https://authors.library.caltech.edu/84296/

Fecha de contribución: 13-ene-2018


* Callies, Jörn and Ferrari, Raffaele and Klymak, Jody M. and Gula, Jonathan (2015) Seasonality in submesoscale turbulence. Nature Communications, 6 . Art. No. 6862. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC4410631. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180112-100116002

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