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Impact of Wave-Vortical Interactions on Oceanic Submesoscale Lateral Dispersion

Impact of Wave-Vortical Interactions on Oceanic Submesoscale Lateral Dispersion <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Submesoscale lateral transport of Lagrangian particles in pycnocline conditions is investigated by means of idealized numerical simulations with reduced-interaction models. Using a projection technique, the models are formulated in terms of wave-mode and vortical-mode nonlinear interactions, and they range in complexity from full Boussinesq to waves-only and vortical-modes-only (QG) models. We find that, on these scales, most of the dispersion is done by vortical motions, but waves cannot be discounted because they play an important, albeit indirect, role. In particular, we show that waves are instrumental in filling out the spectra of vortical-mode energy at smaller scales through non-resonant vortex-wave-wave triad interactions. We demonstrate that a richer spectrum of vortical modes in the presence of waves enhances the effective lateral diffusivity, compared to QG. Waves also transfer energy upscale to vertically sheared horizontal flows which are a key ingredient for internal-wave shear dispersion. In the waves-only model, the dispersion rate is an order of magnitude smaller and is attributed entirely to internal-wave shear dispersion.</jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Physical Oceanography CrossRef

Impact of Wave-Vortical Interactions on Oceanic Submesoscale Lateral Dispersion

Journal of Physical OceanographySep 17, 2021

Impact of Wave-Vortical Interactions on Oceanic Submesoscale Lateral Dispersion


Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Submesoscale lateral transport of Lagrangian particles in pycnocline conditions is investigated by means of idealized numerical simulations with reduced-interaction models. Using a projection technique, the models are formulated in terms of wave-mode and vortical-mode nonlinear interactions, and they range in complexity from full Boussinesq to waves-only and vortical-modes-only (QG) models. We find that, on these scales, most of the dispersion is done by vortical motions, but waves cannot be discounted because they play an important, albeit indirect, role. In particular, we show that waves are instrumental in filling out the spectra of vortical-mode energy at smaller scales through non-resonant vortex-wave-wave triad interactions. We demonstrate that a richer spectrum of vortical modes in the presence of waves enhances the effective lateral diffusivity, compared to QG. Waves also transfer energy upscale to vertically sheared horizontal flows which are a key ingredient for internal-wave shear dispersion. In the waves-only model, the dispersion rate is an order of magnitude smaller and is attributed entirely to internal-wave shear dispersion.</jats:p>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
0022-3670
DOI
10.1175/jpo-d-20-0299.1
Publisher site
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Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Submesoscale lateral transport of Lagrangian particles in pycnocline conditions is investigated by means of idealized numerical simulations with reduced-interaction models. Using a projection technique, the models are formulated in terms of wave-mode and vortical-mode nonlinear interactions, and they range in complexity from full Boussinesq to waves-only and vortical-modes-only (QG) models. We find that, on these scales, most of the dispersion is done by vortical motions, but waves cannot be discounted because they play an important, albeit indirect, role. In particular, we show that waves are instrumental in filling out the spectra of vortical-mode energy at smaller scales through non-resonant vortex-wave-wave triad interactions. We demonstrate that a richer spectrum of vortical modes in the presence of waves enhances the effective lateral diffusivity, compared to QG. Waves also transfer energy upscale to vertically sheared horizontal flows which are a key ingredient for internal-wave shear dispersion. In the waves-only model, the dispersion rate is an order of magnitude smaller and is attributed entirely to internal-wave shear dispersion.</jats:p>

Journal

Journal of Physical OceanographyCrossRef

Published: Sep 17, 2021

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