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The Role of Scale in the Development and Evolution of Stratified Shear Turbulence, Entrainment and Mixing

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2014,30 Sep 2015

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University of Massachusetts Dartmouth North Dartmouth United States

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The goal of the research effort is to use existing field and laboratory data, along with direct numerical simulation DNS models to explore the variation of turbulence parameters across significant spatial scales. This work will allow better communication between laboratory studies and observations of stratified-shear turbulence in the oceans, and will lead to better parameterizations of turbulence in ocean models, and more effective predictions of ocean processes. Most studies to date have assumed that stratified-shear turbulence is essentially independent of Reynolds number, Re, once a specific critical value of Re is exceeded. Rather, observed variability is typically interpreted as a function solely of the local Richardson number, Ri, or bulk Richardson number, RiB. Recent comparisons of field and laboratory data suggest otherwise. This is a potentially significant realization that could have profound implications for our understanding of stratified-shear turbulence and the development of robust turbulence closure models.

Subject Categories:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

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