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129621 - Energy loss from transient eddies due to lee wave generation in the Southern Ocean.pdf (3.64 MB)
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Energy loss from transient eddies due to lee wave generation in the Southern Ocean

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 23:04 authored by Yang, L, Maxim NikurashinMaxim Nikurashin, Hogg, AM, Sloyan, BM
Observations suggest that enhanced turbulent dissipation and mixing over rough topography are modulated by the transient eddy field through the generation and breaking of lee waves in the Southern Ocean. Idealized simulations also suggest that lee waves are important in the energy pathway from eddies to turbulence. However, the energy loss from eddies due to lee wave generation remains poorly estimated. This study quantifies the relative energy loss from the time-mean and transient eddy flow in the Southern Ocean due to lee wave generation using an eddy-resolving global ocean model and three independent topographic datasets. The authors find that the energy loss from the transient eddy flow (0.12 TW; 1 TW = 1012 W) is larger than that from the time-mean flow (0.04 TW) due to lee wave generation; lee wave generation makes a larger contribution (0.12 TW) to the energy loss from the transient eddy flow than the dissipation in turbulent bottom boundary layer (0.05 TW). This study also shows that the energy loss from the time-mean flow is regulated by the transient eddy flow, and energy loss from the transient eddy flow is sensitive to the representation of anisotropy in small-scale topography. It is implied that lee waves should be parameterized in eddy-resolving global ocean models to improve the energetics of resolved flow.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Journal of Physical Oceanography










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Amer Meteorological Soc

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