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Surface wave bias in structure function estimates of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate

Scannell, Brian D.; Rippeth, Tom P.; Simpson, John H.; Polton, Jeff A.; Hopkins, Joanne E.. 2017 Surface wave bias in structure function estimates of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 34 (10). 2257-2273. 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0059.1

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Abstract/Summary

The combination of acoustic Doppler current profilers and the structure function methodology provides an attractive approach to making extended time series measurements of oceanic turbulence (the rate of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation ε) from moorings. However, this study shows that for deployments in the upper part of the water column, estimates of ε will be biased by the vertical gradient in wave orbital velocities. To remove this bias, a modified structure function methodology is developed that exploits the differing length scale dependencies of the contributions to the structure function resulting from turbulent and wave orbital motions. The success of the modified method is demonstrated through a comparison of ε estimates based on data from instruments at three depths over a 3-month period under a wide range of conditions, with appropriate scalings for wind stress and convective forcing.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0059.1
ISSN: 0739-0572
Date made live: 07 Nov 2017 10:17 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/518314

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