Seminar Details

Small-scale observations of upper ocean turbulent processes




Dr. Brian Ward, NUI, Galway, Ireland.


Uncertainty in the air-sea fluxes of heat, freshwater, CO2 and other properties constrains our ability to understand and model our changing climate. As the air-sea interface is approached, there is a progressive change in scale and greater interdependence of processes. An important process is turbulence, which is quantified with the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy. Turbulence in the surface ocean boundary layer (SOBL) is key for deepening the mixed layer depth, and therefore it is critical to correctly scale the different types of turbulence arising from wind, waves, and buoyancy. Turbulence is also a key process for increasing the exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. Here is presented observations of upper ocean turbulence using the autonomous profiling instrument ASIP (Air-Sea Interaction Profiler) in different ocean basins which have enabled studies on the diurnal jet, air-sea exchange of CO2, and the impact of rainfall on upper ocean salinity.

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