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Turbulent mixing in the seasonally-stratified western Irish Sea: a Thorpe Scale perspective

Stansfield, K.L. and Palmer, M.R. and Rippeth, T.P. and Simpson, J.H. (2013) Turbulent mixing in the seasonally-stratified western Irish Sea: a Thorpe Scale perspective. Ocean Science, 10 (6). pp. 2141-2155. DOI: 10.5194/osd-10-2141-2013

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Abstract

Abstract. The seasonal thermocline in shelf-seas represents an important biogeophysical barrier to the vertical flux of nutrients into the photic zone. Episodic weakening of this barrier plays an important role in sustaining the sub-surface chlorophyll maximum in summer and hence impacts the carbon draw-down in the seasonally-stratified zones of the shelf seas. Here we present estimates of the rate of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation inferred from microstructure shear probes and compare them with dissipation rates inferred from a standard conductivity-temperature-depth instrument and from a fast thermistor (Thorpe Scale methodology) at a site in the seasonally-stratified Irish Sea. All methods show strong dissipation rates in response to tidal stresses near the bed (order 10�2 Wm�3) with qualitatively similar temporal and spatial patterns. In the interior of the water column, however, only the microstructure shear probe estimates resolve the mixing in the region of the thermocline.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Ocean Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:37
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 03:02
ISSN: 1812-0784
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/588
Identification Number: DOI: 10.5194/osd-10-2141-2013
Publisher: Copernicus publications
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