By S. A. Thorpe

This textbook presents an creation to turbulent movement taking place clearly within the ocean on scales starting from millimetres to hundreds of thousands of kilometres. It describes turbulence within the combined boundary layers on the sea floor and seabed, turbulent movement within the density-stratified water among, and the strength assets that help and maintain ocean blending. Little earlier wisdom of actual oceanography is believed. The textual content is supported by way of a variety of figures, broad additional examining lists, and greater than 50 routines which are graded in trouble. particular strategies to the routines can be found to teachers on-line at www.cambridge.org/9780521859486. This textbook is meant for undergraduate classes in actual oceanography, and all scholars drawn to multidisciplinary features of the way the sea works, from the coastline to the deep abyssal plains. It additionally kinds an invaluable lead-in to the author's extra complex graduate textbook, The Turbulent Ocean (Cambridge collage Press, 2005).

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Example text

The value N characterizes the local density stratification. A further dimensional scale, one of length, [(1/ρ)dρ/dz]−1 , can be defined to characterize the density variation. This is known as the ‘scale height’ and is typically 40 times the ocean depth. The scale height is relatively large in the ocean,17 the density 15 The potential temperature, usually denoted by θ (with corresponding potential density, σθ ), is the temperature fluid would have if moved adiabatically (with no exchange of heat with its surroundings) to a given (stated) reference level.

For example, see Fig. 6 later. 3 The oceanic density profile The variation with depth of a quantity such as density or buoyancy frequency is commonly referred to as a ‘profile’ (see Fig. 12). The term ‘velocity profile’, for example, usually applies to the variation of the mean horizontal water speed with depth. , as illustrated later in Figs. 10). In regions of sufficiently large water depth, this ‘mixed layer’18 is stirred, and turbulence within it is generated and sustained, mainly by the processes arising from air–sea interaction described in Chapter 3.

Collapse of a turbulent patch in stratified water. (a) On the left is shown the initial density profile with a locally uniform density gradient. Points are marked in a rectangular region where, in (b), turbulent mixing occurs. The effect of the mixing is to produce, in (c), a patch of relatively uniform density. The density profile through it at A–A is shown on the left.

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