The modification of bottom boundary layer turbulence and mixing by internal waves shoaling on a barrier reef
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Results are presented from an observational study of stratified, turbulent flow in the bottom boundary layer on the outer southeast Florida shelf. Measurements of momentum and heat fluxes were made using an array of acoustic Doppler velocimeters and fast-response temperature sensors in the bottom 3 m over a rough reef slope. Direct estimates of flux Richardson number Rf confirm previous laboratory, numerical, and observational work, which find mixing efficiency not to be a constant but rather to vary with Frt, Reb, and Rig. These results depart from previous observations in that the highest levels of mixing efficiency occur for Frt < 1, suggesting that efficient mixing can also happen in regions of buoyancy-controlled turbulence. Generally, the authors find that turbulence in the reef bottom boundary layer is highly variable in time and modified by near-bed flow, shear, and stratification driven by shoaling internal waves.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 41 (2011): 2223–2241, doi:10.1175/2011JPO4344.1.
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