Evolution of small-scale turbulence at large Richardson numbers
Abstract. The theory of stratified turbulent flow developed earlier by the authors is applied to data from the upper oceanic level to confirm that small-scale turbulence can be amplified and supported at a quasi-stationary level even at large gradient Richardson numbers due to the exchange between kinetic and potential energies. Using the mean profiles of Brunt-Väisälä frequency and vertical current shear given in Forryan et al. (2013), the profiles of kinetic energy dissipation rate are calculated, to be in reasonable agreement with the experimental data. This confirms the importance of including potential energy into realistic models of subsurface turbulence.
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