We study possible mechanisms of mixing in the northwest part of the Tropical Atlantic (C-SALT) and show that homogeneous layers in the staircase structure can be observed across the entire frontal zone of the North Equatorial Countercurrent. In the central region of the frontal zone, one may observe horizontal motions of the upper parts of quasihomogeneous layers with respect to their lower parts and an essential role in the exchange processes is played by turbulence. The peripheral regions of the frontal zone are characterized by the presence of horizontal advection and isopycnic mixing. Far from the frontal interface, the principal contribution to the exchange processes is made by double diffusion. We demonstrate that, for the analysis of the vertical buoyancy fluxes caused by salt fingers, one can use both the Stern relation and the “law of 4/3”.
Physical Oceanography – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 18, 2006
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