1.6 Simulations of layering and stratified turbulence surrounding an anticyclonic eddy

Monday, 8 June 2009: 9:40 AM
Pinnacle BC (Stoweflake Resort and Confernce Center)
Bach Lien Hua, IFREMER, Plouzane, France; and C. Menesguen, S. Le Gentil, and H. Aiki

Recently available geoseismic data in the North-East Atlantic ocean have revealed extended pancake-like layers of density anomalies of 30-60 meters thickness, surrounding Meddy structures within the Mediterranean Water outflow. The depths of pancake-like density layering unambiguously coincide with potential energy spectra inertial ranges in -5/3, for horizontal spatial scales less than 2-3 km, reminiscent of non-rotating stratified turbulence results.

Using ultra-high 3D resolution simulations of a Meddy-like anticyclonic eddy on the Earth Simulator, with a horizontal grid size down to 100m and a vertical grid size of 3m, we have been able to reproduce the pancake-like layering surrounding the eddy. Furthermore, potential and kinetic energy with -5/3 inertial ranges are simulated. The dynamics underlying layering formation and the associated forward energy cascades is discussed.

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