Observations of Energy Dissipation in the Wake of a Western Pacific Typhoon
FLORIDA STATE UNIV TALLAHASSEE DEPT OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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We are focused on understanding small-scale processes that influence the oceans thermodynamic and dynamic properties on the sub-mesoscale scales less than 10 km. This includes the turbulent evolution of cold wakes caused by typhoons, and the subsequent mixing processes the restore the upper ocean stratification after a storm event. I propose to investigate the energy dissipation properties of the mixed layer and mixed-layer base thermocline transition layer during direct forcing by a typhoon. It is hypothesized that inertial energy loss occurs not only through dissipative processes in the mixed layer, but also through dissipation occurring well into the transition layer between the mixed-layer base and the thermocline, where shear is enhanced. Energy is also lost to the thermocline by conversion of inertial energy into near-inertial wave radiation. The turbulence generated at in the transition layer is tied to shear instability occurring below the mixed-layer base, which appears to be a key mechanism in parameterizations for mixedlayer response to strong wind forcing.