Differential Diffusion in Bistable Conditions
INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCES SIDNEY (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
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Double diffusive phenomena, due to the difference in molecular conduction coefficients for heat and for ion concentrations in sea water, are widely known. These include salt fingering and diffusive convection which occur when either temperature or salinity is destabilizing while the other salinity or heat is stabilizing. Less well known, less dramatic in their occurrence, but far more widespread are circumstances where both temperature and salinity are stabilizing and yet the differences in molecular conduction lead to systematic differences in turbulent transport rates. Differential diffusion has been seen in laboratory experiments, in ocean observations and in numerical simulations. Here we examine differential diffusion in terms of turbulence-induced restratifying up-gradient fluxes.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography