Properties of the discretely stratified microstructure in the Arctic Ocean
Barney, William Clifford
Denner, Warren W.
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The layered micro-structure in the Arctic Ocean is examined from long time-series of high-resolution temperature profiles and concurrent digital salinity data. The motion within the layers is found to be turbulent, while the flow within the interface sheets is laminar. The structure is stable for long periods of time, and is coherent for a considerable horizontal extent. It is suggested that the initial formation of the layers is due to the energy dissipation of higher modes of locally generated internal waves. The layers may be sustained for long periods by weak shear produced by geostrophic density currents. The distribution of salinity and temperature differences between layers indicates that the layers are ir, a state of dynamic equilibrium , the differing diffusion characteristics of heat and salt accounting for the transfer of these properties across the interface sheets.
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