Summaries - Research
Back Long Term Observations of Inertial Waves and Turbulent Diffusivity in the Upper Pycnocline of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas
|Division||Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science|
Stanton, Timothy P.
|Sponsor||Office of Naval Research (Navy)|
|Summary||In the Central Arctic, competing effects related to the presently-expansive, summertime sea ice melt back (increased input of wind energy into the ocean and increased stratification due to surface freshwater flux) are producing complex spatial and temporal patterns of turbulent diffusivity in the Arctic pycnocline. Strong gradients in inertial wave energy and upper pycnocline stratification across the marginal ice zone may affect vertical fluxes between the pycnocline and the ocean surface layer. The focus of this project is to make observations to determine whether the amount of Pacific water heat available in the upper pycnocline increased in the last 2 decades, and whether this heat is more available for ice melt owing to increased turbulent diffusivity of the upper pycnocline. Our approach is to make long-term (spanning multiple seasons and geographic areas) measurements of the internal wave and turbulence fields in the pycnocline of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to map out the spatial/temporal variability of these fields in relation to the ice cover conditions and proximity to bathymetric features. These measurements will have sufficient resolution to directly investigate the mechanical relationships between the internal wave and turbulence fields. Concurrently, the turbulent fluxes of momentum, heat just below the ice cover will be used to quantify how turbulent transports in the upper pycnocline are affecting the sea ice cover.|
|Keywords||Arctic Oceanography Ocean-Ice Interaction Pycnocline Mixing Upper Ocean Turbulence|
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