An abyssal recipe Academic Article uri icon


  • Fine- and microstructure observations indicate bottom-intensified turbulent dissipation above rough bathymetry associated with internal wave breaking. Simple analytic representations for the depth profile of turbulent dissipation are proposed here under the assumption that the near bottom wavefield is dominated by a baroclinic tide. This scheme is intended for use in numerical models and thus captures only the gross features of detailed solutions to the energy balance of the internal wavefield. The possible sensitivity of the magnitude and vertical variability of the dissipation rate profile to various environmental parameters is discussed. An expression for the diapycnal buoyancy flux is presented that explicitly treats the difference between the height of an isopycnal above the mean bottom and the actual bottom. This returns a diapycnal velocity estimate that is consistent with both tracer observations of downwelling and a basin scale mass budget that requires upwelling. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 2009