On spurious interactions between mixed layer model, convective adjustment, and isopycnal mixing in ocean circulation models.

Oschlies, Andreas (1999) On spurious interactions between mixed layer model, convective adjustment, and isopycnal mixing in ocean circulation models. Monthly Weather Review (127). pp. 1920-1927. DOI 10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127<1920:OSIAAM>2.0.CO;2.

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Abstract

Inconsistencies can arise in ocean circulation models when part of the physical processes responsible for vertical mixing is described in the usual differential form and part is formulated as adjustment processes. Examples for the latter class are explicit convective adjustment and Kraus–Turner type models of the surface mixed layer. Implicit convective adjustment as well as various representations of interior-ocean mixing are normally described in differential form. All these schemes mix density, with a mixing intensity that itself depends on stratification. This requires that information concerning static stability is passed through the individual mixing routines in a consistent sequence. It is shown that inconsistencies can arise when coupling a Kraus–Turner type model of wind-induced mixing with both a standard implicit convective adjustment as well as with an isopycnal mixing scheme. This leads to considerably overestimated mixed layer depths, for example, by hundreds of meters in the subpolar North Atlantic. The problem is eliminated first by ensuring that dissipation of potential energy during convection is included in the mixing scheme, even when considering wind-induced turbulence only, and second, by either calling the mixed layer routine before the differential vertical mixing scheme or tapering the vertical diffusivities to zero within the surface mixed layer.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127<1920:OSIAAM>2.0.CO;2
ISSN: 0027-0644
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 13:16
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/4387

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