Parameterization of eddy fluxes near oceanic boundaries

(Ferrari, Raffaele and McWilliams, James C. and Canuto, Vittorio M. and Dubovikov, Mikhail), Journal of Climate, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. pages, 2008.


In the stably stratified interior of the ocean, mesoscale eddies transport materials by quasi-adiabatic isopycnal stirring. Resolving or parameterizing these effects is important for modeling the oceanic general circulation and climate. Near the bottom and near the surface, however, microscale boundary layer turbu- lence overcomes the adiabatic, isopycnal constraints for the mesoscale transport. In this paper a formalism is presented for representing this transition from adiabatic, isopycnally oriented mesoscale fluxes in the interior to the diabatic, along-boundary mesoscale fluxes near the boundaries. A simple parameterization form is proposed that illustrates its consequences in an idealized flow. The transition is not confined to the turbulent boundary layers, but extends into the partially diabatic transition layers on their interiorward edge.Atransition layer occurs because of the mesoscale variability in the boundary layer and the associated mesoscale–microscale dynamical coupling.

doi = 10.1175/2007JCLI1510.1

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