Widespread intense turbulent mixing in the Southern Ocean

Alberto C. Naveira Garabato, Kurt L. Polzin, Brian A. King, Karen J. Heywood, Martin Visbeck

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330 Citations (Scopus)


Observations of internal wave velocity fluctuations show that enhanced turbulent mixing over rough topography in the Southern Ocean is remarkably intense and widespread. Mixing rates exceeding background values by a factor of 10 to 1000 are common above complex bathymetry over a distance of 2000 to 3000 kilometers at depths greater than 500 to 1000 meters. This suggests that turbulent mixing in the Southern Ocean may contribute crucially to driving the upward transport of water closing the ocean's meridional overturning circulation, and thus needs to be represented in numerical simulations of the global ocean circulation and the spreading of biogeochemical tracers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-213
Number of pages4
Issue number5655
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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