AbstractThis study shows that the presence of Stokes drift us in the turbulent upper ocean induces a near-surface Eulerian current that opposes the Stokes drift. This current is distinct from previously studied anti-Stokes currents because it does not rely on the presence of planetary rotation or mean lateral gradients. Instead, the anti-Stokes flow arises from an interaction between the Stokes drift and turbulence. The new anti-Stokes flow is antiparallel to us near the ocean surface, is parallel to us at depth, and integrates to zero over the depth of the boundary layer. The presence of Stokes drift in large-eddy simulations (LES) is shown to induce artificial energy production caused by a combination of the new anti-Stokes flow and LES numerics. As a result, care must be taken when designing and interpreting simulations of realistic wave forcing, particularly as rotation becomes weak and/or us becomes perpendicular to the surface wind stress. The mechanism of the artificial energy production is demonstrated for a generalized LES subgrid scheme.
Journal of Physical Oceanography – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jan 4, 2018
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