Group News: NSF funds major observational program

August 11, 2018

In the last few years we have challenged the textbook understanding of the abyssal ocean circulation. It is generally accepted that the rise of carbon rich waters from the abyss is driven by the mixing generated when internal wave break in the ocean interior. Our theoretical work instead suggests that mixing drives waters toward the abyss and not the other way around. The carbon rich waters, instead, rise along turbulent boundary layers that develop over seamounts and ridges. We have now proposed to test the theory in the Rockall Trough off the shores of Ireland. The project is a collaboration between our group and colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Southampton Oceanographic Center. We will use a combination of moored instruments to sample the boundary layer turbulence and tracer releases to study the rising of waters. The project includes four cruises over the next three years.