Meeting Report: From Stirring to Mixing in a Stratified Ocean
HAWAII UNIV HONOLULU
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Over fifty years ago, Carl Eckart described the sequence of processes as a passive scalar is stirred and mixed in a turbulent flow Eckart, 1948. At first, during the stirring phase, the variance of the scalar gradient is greatly increased, but later, during the mixing phase, the gradients become sufficiently sharp that molecular diffusion becomes important and the gradient variance rapidly decreases. The process is of great practical importance in many engineering situations as well as being familiar from adding cream to coffee. The interplay of stirring and mixing is also important in the ocean for temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and other naturally occurring tracers as well as for introduced material. The situation is complicated by the numerous physical processes that can cause stirring and by the interplay of processes that act along isopycnals surfaces of constant mean density, where mean requires careful definition with diapycnal processes acting across the density surfaces.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography