About: Thermocline is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 6259 publications have been published within this topic receiving 256890 citations.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this article, a new parameterization of oceanic boundary layer mixing is developed to accommodate some of this physics, including a scheme for determining the boundary layer depth h, where the turbulent contribution to the vertical shear of a bulk Richardson number is parameterized.
Abstract: If model parameterizations of unresolved physics, such as the variety of upper ocean mixing processes, are to hold over the large range of time and space scales of importance to climate, they must be strongly physically based. Observations, theories, and models of oceanic vertical mixing are surveyed. Two distinct regimes are identified: ocean mixing in the boundary layer near the surface under a variety of surface forcing conditions (stabilizing, destabilizing, and wind driven), and mixing in the ocean interior due to internal waves, shear instability, and double diffusion (arising from the different molecular diffusion rates of heat and salt). Mixing schemes commonly applied to the upper ocean are shown not to contain some potentially important boundary layer physics. Therefore a new parameterization of oceanic boundary layer mixing is developed to accommodate some of this physics. It includes a scheme for determining the boundary layer depth h, where the turbulent contribution to the vertical shear of a bulk Richardson number is parameterized. Expressions for diffusivity and nonlocal transport throughout the boundary layer are given. The diffusivity is formulated to agree with similarity theory of turbulence in the surface layer and is subject to the conditions that both it and its vertical gradient match the interior values at h. This nonlocal “K profile parameterization” (KPP) is then verified and compared to alternatives, including its atmospheric counterparts. Its most important feature is shown to be the capability of the boundary layer to penetrate well into a stable thermocline in both convective and wind-driven situations. The diffusivities of the aforementioned three interior mixing processes are modeled as constants, functions of a gradient Richardson number (a measure of the relative importance of stratification to destabilizing shear), and functions of the double-diffusion density ratio, Rρ. Oceanic simulations of convective penetration, wind deepening, and diurnal cycling are used to determine appropriate values for various model parameters as weak functions of vertical resolution. Annual cycle simulations at ocean weather station Papa for 1961 and 1969–1974 are used to test the complete suite of parameterizations. Model and observed temperatures at all depths are shown to agree very well into September, after which systematic advective cooling in the ocean produces expected differences. It is argued that this cooling and a steady salt advection into the model are needed to balance the net annual surface heating and freshwater input. With these advections, good multiyear simulations of temperature and salinity can be achieved. These results and KPP simulations of the diurnal cycle at the Long-Term Upper Ocean Study (LOTUS) site are compared with the results of other models. It is demonstrated that the KPP model exchanges properties between the mixed layer and thermocline in a manner consistent with observations, and at least as well or better than alternatives.
TL;DR: In this paper, a Richardson-number-dependent model of the mixing process of the equatorial oceans is proposed to simulate the response of the ocean to different wind stress patterns. But the results are relatively insensitive to values assigned to constants in the parameterization formula.
Abstract: Measurements indicate that mixing processes are intense in the surface layers of the ocean but weak below the thermocline, except for the region below the core of the Equatorial Undercurrent where vertical temperature gradients are small and the shear is large. Parameterization of these mixing processes by means of coefficients of eddy mixing that are Richardson-number dependent, leads to realistic simulations of the response of the equatorial oceans to different windstress patterns. In the case of eastward winds results agree well with measurements in the Indian Ocean. In the case of westward winds it is of paramount importance that the nonzero heat flux into the ocean be taken into account. This beat flux stabilizes the upper layers and reduces the intensity of the mixing, especially in the cast. With an appropriate surface boundary condition, the results are relatively insensitive to values assigned to constants in the parameterization formula.
TL;DR: In this paper, it is proposed that this return flow is accomplished primarily within the ocean's warm water thermocline layer, where the main thermoclines of the ocean are linked as they participate in a thermohaline-driven global scale circulation cell associated with NADW formation.
Abstract: Formation of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) represents a transfer of upper layer water to abyssal depths at a rate of 15 to 20 x 10 6 m3/s. NADW spreads throughout the Atlantic Ocean and is exported to the Indian and Pacific Oceans by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and deep western boundary currents. Naturally, there must be a compensating flow of upper layer water toward the northern North Atlantic to feed NADW production. It is proposed that this return flow is accomplished primarily within the ocean's warm water thermocline layer. In this way the main thermoclines of the ocean are linked as they participate in a thermohaline-driven global scale circulation cell associated with NADW formation. The path of the return flow of warm water is as follows: Pacific to Indian flow within the Indonesian Seas, advection across the Indian Ocean in the 10o-15oS latitude belt, southward transfer in the Mozambique Channel, entry into the South Atlantic by a branch of the Agulhas Current that does not complete the retroflection pattern, northward advection within the subtropical gyre of the South Atlantic (which on balance with the southward flux of colder North Atlantic Deep Water supports the northward oceanic heat flux characteristic of the South Atlantic), and cross-equatorial flow into the western North Atlantic. The magnitude of the return flow increases along its path as more NADW is incorporated into the upper layer of the ocean. Additionally, the water mass characteristics of the return flow are gradually altered by regional ocean-atmosphere interaction and mixing processes. Within the Indonesian seas there is evidence of strong vertical mixing across the thermocline. The cold water route, Pacific to Atlantic transport of Subantarctic water within the Drake Passage, is of secondary importance, amounting to perhaps 25% of the warm water route transport. The continuity or vigor of the warm water route is vulnerable to change not only as the thermohaline forcing in the northern North Atlantic varies but also as the larger-scale wind-driven criculation factors vary. The interocean links within the Indonesian seas and at the Agulhas retroflection may be particularly responsive to such variability. Changes in the warn: water route continuity may in turn influence formation characteristics of NADW.
TL;DR: In this article, a new conceptual model for ENSO has been constructed based upon the positive feedback of tropical ocean atmosphere interaction proposed by Bjerknes as the growth mechanism and the recharge discharge of the equatorial heat content as the phase transition mechanism suggested by Cane and Zebiak and by Wyrtki.
Abstract: A new conceptual model for ENSO has been constructed based upon the positive feedback of tropical ocean‐ atmosphere interaction proposed by Bjerknes as the growth mechanism and the recharge‐discharge of the equatorial heat content as the phase-transition mechanism suggested by Cane and Zebiak and by Wyrtki. This model combines SST dynamics and ocean adjustment dynamics into a coupled basinwide recharge oscillator that relies on the nonequilibrium between the zonal mean equatorial thermocline depth and wind stress. Over a wide range of the relative coupling coefficient, this recharge oscillator can be either self-excited or stochastically sustained. Its period is robust in the range of 3‐5 years. This recharge oscillator model clearly depicts the slow physics of ENSO and also embodies the delayed oscillator (Schopf and Suarez; Battisti and Hirst) without requiring an explicit wave delay. It can also be viewed as a mixed SST‐ocean dynamics oscillator due to the fact that it arises from the merging of two uncoupled modes, a decaying SST mode and a basinwide ocean adjustment mode, through the tropical ocean‐atmosphere coupling. The basic characteristics of this recharge oscillator, including the relationship between the equatorial western Pacific thermocline depth and the eastern Pacific SST anomalies, are in agreement with those of ENSO variability in the observations and simulations with the Zebiak‐Cane model.
TL;DR: A quasi-conservative tracer N*, defined as a linear combination of nitrate and phosphate, is proposed to investigate the distribution of nitrogen fixation and denitrification in the world oceans.
Abstract: A new quasi-conservative tracer N*, defined as a linear combination of nitrate and phosphate, is proposed to investigate the distribution of nitrogen fixation and denitrification in the world oceans. Spatial patterns of N* are determined in the different ocean basins using data from the Geochemical Ocean Sections Study (GEOSECS) cruises (1972–1978) and from eight additional cruises in the Atlantic Ocean. N* is low ( 2.0 µmol kg−1) indicative of prevailing nitrogen fixation are found in the thermocline of the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. This suggests that on a global scale these basins are acting as sources of fixed nitrogen, while the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean are acting as sinks. Nitrogen fixation is estimated in the North Atlantic Ocean (10°N–50°N) using the N* distribution along isopycnal surfaces and information about the water age. We calculate a fixation rate of 28 Tg N yr−1 which is about 3 times larger than the most recent global estimate. Our result is in line, however, with some recent suggestions that pelagic nitrogen fixation may be seriously underestimated. The implied flux of 0.072 mol N m−2 yr−1 is sufficient to meet all the nitrogen requirement of the estimated net community production in the mixed layer during summer at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site in the northwestern Sargasso Sea. Extrapolation of our North Atlantic estimate to the global ocean suggests that the present-day budget of nitrogen in the ocean may be in approximate balance.