Studies on Convection in Polar Oceans
Final rept. 1 Oct 89-31 Mar 98
ARIZONA STATE UNIV TEMPE DEPT OF MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
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A laboratory experimental program was carried out to investigate fundamental physical processes related to deep-ocean and under-ice convection occurring in high latitude oceans. With regard to deep convection, the aspects of interest were the preconditioning of a stratified region prior to the onset of convection, breakdown of stratification leading to turbulent convection, growth of convective layer against stable stratification, scales of convection, lateral processes leading to horizontal buoyancy exchanges and the final collapse of deep-convective regions. Studies on convection under an ice cap included the formation and melting of ice due to surface cooling of a two-layer stratified fluid. This problem is rich in a variety of physical processes such as double-diffusive transports of heat and salt and turbulent mixing across the pycnocline that separates the two layers. Important new mechanisms related to above-described convective processes were delineated and simple parameterizations were proposed to represent convective events in numerical models.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost
- Fluid Mechanics