Zappa Christopher J.

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Christopher J.

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  • Article
    Air-sea CO2 exchange in the equatorial Pacific
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-08-28) McGillis, Wade R. ; Edson, James B. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Ware, Jonathan D. ; McKenna, Sean P. ; Terray, Eugene A. ; Hare, Jeffrey E. ; Fairall, Christopher W. ; Drennan, William M. ; Donelan, Mark A. ; DeGrandpre, Michael D. ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Feely, Richard A.
    GasEx-2001, a 15-day air-sea carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange study conducted in the equatorial Pacific, used a combination of ships, buoys, and drifters equipped with ocean and atmospheric sensors to assess variability and surface mechanisms controlling air-sea CO2 fluxes. Direct covariance and profile method air-sea CO2 fluxes were measured together with the surface ocean and marine boundary layer processes. The study took place in February 2001 near 125°W, 3°S in a region of high CO2. The diurnal variation in the air-sea CO2 difference was 2.5%, driven predominantly by temperature effects on surface solubility. The wind speed was 6.0 ± 1.3 m s−1, and the atmospheric boundary layer was unstable with conditions over the range −1 < z/L < 0. Diurnal heat fluxes generated daytime surface ocean stratification and subsequent large nighttime buoyancy fluxes. The average CO2 flux from the ocean to the atmosphere was determined to be 3.9 mol m−2 yr−1, with nighttime CO2 fluxes increasing by 40% over daytime values because of a strong nighttime increase in (vertical) convective velocities. The 15 days of air-sea flux measurements taken during GasEx-2001 demonstrate some of the systematic environmental trends of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The fact that other physical processes, in addition to wind, were observed to control the rate of CO2 transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere indicates that these processes need to be taken into account in local and global biogeochemical models. These local processes can vary on regional and global scales. The GasEx-2001 results show a weak wind dependence but a strong variability in processes governed by the diurnal heating cycle. This implies that any changes in the incident radiation, including atmospheric cloud dynamics, phytoplankton biomass, and surface ocean stratification may have significant feedbacks on the amount and variability of air-sea gas exchange. This is in sharp contrast with previous field studies of air-sea gas exchange, which showed that wind was the dominating forcing function. The results suggest that gas transfer parameterizations that rely solely on wind will be insufficient for regions with low to intermediate winds and strong insolation.
  • Article
    Sea surface temperature signatures of oceanic internal waves in low winds
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-06-20) Farrar, J. Thomas ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Jessup, Andrew T.
    In aerial surveys conducted during the Tropical Ocean–Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment and the low-wind component of the Coupled Boundary Layer Air-Sea Transfer (CBLAST-Low) oceanographic field programs, sea surface temperature (SST) variability at relatively short spatial scales (O(50 m) to O(1 km)) was observed to increase with decreasing wind speed. A unique set of coincident surface and subsurface oceanic temperature measurements from CBLAST-Low is used to investigate the subsurface expression of this spatially organized SST variability, and the SST variability is linked to internal waves. The data are used to test two previously hypothesized mechanisms for SST signatures of oceanic internal waves: a modulation of the cool-skin effect and a modulation of vertical mixing within the diurnal warm layer. Under conditions of weak winds and strong insolation (which favor formation of a diurnal warm layer), the data reveal a link between the spatially periodic SST fluctuations and subsurface temperature and velocity fluctuations associated with oceanic internal waves, suggesting that some mechanism involving the diurnal warm layer is responsible for the observed signal. Internal-wave signals in skin temperature very closely resemble temperature signals measured at a depth of about 20 cm, indicating that the observed internal-wave SST signal is not a result of modulation of the cool-skin effect. Numerical experiments using a one-dimensional upper ocean model support the notion that internal-wave heaving of the warm-layer base can produce alternating bands of relatively warm and cool SST through the combined effects of surface heating and modulation of wind-driven vertical shear.
  • Technical Report
    Stratus 10 tenth setting of the Stratus Ocean Reference Station : cruise RB-10-01, January 2 - January 30, 2010 Charleston, South Carolina - Valparaiso, Chile
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2010-05) Bigorre, Sebastien P. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Lord, Jeffrey ; Galbraith, Nancy R. ; Whelan, Sean P. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Otto, William ; Ram, Jessica ; Vasquez, Raul ; Suhm, Diane
    The Ocean Reference Station at 20°S, 85°W under the stratus clouds west of northern Chile is being maintained to provide ongoing climate-quality records of surface meteorology, air-sea fluxes of heat, freshwater, and momentum, and of upper ocean temperature, salinity, and velocity variability. The Stratus Ocean Reference Station (ORS Stratus) is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Observation Program. It is recovered and redeployed annually, with past cruises that have come between October and December. Due to necessary repairs on the electric motors of the ship’s propulsion system, this year the cruise was delayed until January. During the 2009/2010 cruise on the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown to the ORS Stratus site, the primary activities were the recovery of the Stratus 9 WHOI surface mooring that had been deployed in October 2008, deployment of a new (Stratus 10) WHOI surface mooring at that site, in-situ calibration of the buoy meteorological sensors by comparison with instrumentation installed on the ship by staff of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), and collection of underway and on station oceanographic data to continue to characterize the upper ocean in the stratus region. Both underway CTD (UCTD) profiles and Vertical Microstructure Profiles (VMP) were collected along the track and during surveys dedicated to investigating eddy variability in the region. Surface drifters were also launched along the track. The intent was also to visit a buoy for the Pacific tsunami warning system maintained by the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy (SHOA). This DART (Deep- Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoy had been equipped with IMET sensors and subsurface oceanographic instruments, and a recovery and replacement of the IMET sensors was planned. However, the DART buoy broke free from its mooring on January 3rd and was recovered by the Chilean navy; the work done at that site during this cruise was the recovery of the bottom pressure unit.
  • Article
    Sea-to-air fluxes from measurements of the atmospheric gradient of dimethylsulfide and comparison with simultaneous relaxed eddy accumulation measurements
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-01-30) Hintsa, Eric J. ; Dacey, John W. H. ; McGillis, Wade R. ; Edson, James B. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Zemmelink, Hendrik J.
    We measured vertical profiles of dimethylsulfide (DMS) in the atmospheric marine boundary layer from R/P FLIP during the 2000 FAIRS cruise. Applying Monin-Obukhov similarity theory to the DMS gradients and simultaneous micrometeorological data, we calculated sea-to-air DMS fluxes for 34 profiles. From the fluxes and measured seawater DMS concentrations, we calculated the waterside gas transfer velocity, kw. Gas transfer velocities from the gradient flux approach are within the range of previous commonly used parameterizations of kw as a function of wind speed but are a factor of 2 smaller than simultaneous determinations of transfer velocity using the relaxed eddy accumulation technique. This is the first field comparison of these different techniques for measuring DMS flux from the ocean; the accuracy of the techniques and possible reasons for the discrepancy are discussed.
  • Article
    Variations in ocean surface temperature due to near-surface flow : straining the cool skin layer
    (American Meteorological Society, 2009-11) Wells, Andrew J. ; Cenedese, Claudia ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Zappa, Christopher J.
    The aqueous thermal boundary layer near to the ocean surface, or skin layer, has thickness O(1 mm) and plays an important role in controlling the exchange of heat between the atmosphere and the ocean. Theoretical arguments and experimental measurements are used to investigate the dynamics of the skin layer under the influence of an upwelling flow, which is imposed in addition to free convection below a cooled water surface. Previous theories of straining flow in the skin layer are considered and a simple extension of a surface straining model is posed to describe the combination of turbulence and an upwelling flow. An additional theory is also proposed, conceptually based on the buoyancy-driven instability of a laminar straining flow cooled from above. In all three theories considered two distinct regimes are observed for different values of the Péclet number, which characterizes the ratio of advection to diffusion within the skin layer. For large Péclet numbers, the upwelling flow dominates and increases the free surface temperature, or skin temperature, to follow the scaling expected for a laminar straining flow. For small Péclet numbers, it is shown that any flow that is steady or varies over long time scales produces only a small change in skin temperature by direct straining of the skin layer. Experimental measurements demonstrate that a strong upwelling flow increases the skin temperature and suggest that the mean change in skin temperature with Péclet number is consistent with the theoretical trends for large Péclet number flow. However, all of the models considered consistently underpredict the measured skin temperature, both with and without an upwelling flow, possibly a result of surfactant effects not included in the models.
  • Article
    Scalar flux profile relationships over the open ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-08-14) Edson, James B. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Ware, J. A. ; McGillis, Wade R. ; Hare, Jeffrey E.
    The most commonly used flux-profile relationships are based on Monin-Obukhov (MO) similarity theory. These flux-profile relationships are required in indirect methods such as the bulk aerodynamic, profile, and inertial dissipation methods to estimate the fluxes over the ocean. These relationships are almost exclusively derived from previous field experiments conducted over land. However, the use of overland measurements to infer surface fluxes over the ocean remains questionable, particularly close to the ocean surface where wave-induced forcing can affect the flow. This study investigates the flux profile relationships over the open ocean using measurements made during the 2000 Fluxes, Air-Sea Interaction, and Remote Sensing (FAIRS) and 2001 GasEx experiments. These experiments provide direct measurement of the atmospheric fluxes along with profiles of water vapor and temperature. The specific humidity data are used to determine parameterizations of the dimensionless gradients using functional forms of two commonly used relationships. The best fit to the Businger-Dyer relationship [ Businger, 1988 ] is found using an empirical constant of a q = 13.4 ± 1.7. The best fit to a formulation that has the correct form in the limit of local free convection [e.g., Wyngaard, 1973 ] is found using a q = 29.8 ± 4.6. These values are in good agreement with the consensus values from previous overland experiments and the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) 3.0 bulk algorithm [ Fairall et al., 2003 ]; e.g., the COARE algorithm uses empirical constants of 15 and 34.2 for the Businger-Dyer and convective forms, respectively. Although the flux measurements were made at a single elevation and local similarity scaling is applied, the good agreement implies that MO similarity is valid within the marine atmospheric surface layer above the wave boundary layer.
  • Article
    Constraining Southern Ocean air-sea-ice fluxes through enhanced observations
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-07-31) Swart, Sebastiaan ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Delille, Bruno ; Josey, Simon A. ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Newman, Louise ; Thompson, Andrew F. ; Thomson, James M. ; Ward, Brian ; du Plessis, Marcel ; Kent, Elizabeth ; Girton, James B. ; Gregor, Luke ; Heil, Petra ; Hyder, Patrick ; Pezzi, Luciano Ponzi ; de Souza, Ronald Buss ; Tamsitt, Veronica ; Weller, Robert A. ; Zappa, Christopher J.
    Air-sea and air-sea-ice fluxes in the Southern Ocean play a critical role in global climate through their impact on the overturning circulation and oceanic heat and carbon uptake. The challenging conditions in the Southern Ocean have led to sparse spatial and temporal coverage of observations. This has led to a “knowledge gap” that increases uncertainty in atmosphere and ocean dynamics and boundary-layer thermodynamic processes, impeding improvements in weather and climate models. Improvements will require both process-based research to understand the mechanisms governing air-sea exchange and a significant expansion of the observing system. This will improve flux parameterizations and reduce uncertainty associated with bulk formulae and satellite observations. Improved estimates spanning the full Southern Ocean will need to take advantage of ships, surface moorings, and the growing capabilities of autonomous platforms with robust and miniaturized sensors. A key challenge is to identify observing system sampling requirements. This requires models, Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs), and assessments of the specific spatial-temporal accuracy and resolution required for priority science and assessment of observational uncertainties of the mean state and direct flux measurements. Year-round, high-quality, quasi-continuous in situ flux measurements and observations of extreme events are needed to validate, improve and characterize uncertainties in blended reanalysis products and satellite data as well as to improve parameterizations. Building a robust observing system will require community consensus on observational methodologies, observational priorities, and effective strategies for data management and discovery.
  • Article
    Rain-induced turbulence and air-sea gas transfer
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-07-09) Zappa, Christopher J. ; Ho, David T. ; McGillis, Wade R. ; Banner, Michael L. ; Dacey, John W. H. ; Bliven, Larry F. ; Ma, Barry ; Nystuen, Jeffrey A.
    Results from a rain and gas exchange experiment (Bio2 RainX III) at the Biosphere 2 Center demonstrate that turbulence controls the enhancement of the air-sea gas transfer rate (or velocity) k during rainfall, even though profiles of the turbulent dissipation rate ɛ are strongly influenced by near-surface stratification. The gas transfer rate scales with ɛ inline equation for a range of rain rates with broad drop size distributions. The hydrodynamic measurements elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the rain-enhanced k results using SF6 tracer evasion and active controlled flux technique. High-resolution k and turbulence results highlight the causal relationship between rainfall, turbulence, stratification, and air-sea gas exchange. Profiles of ɛ beneath the air-sea interface during rainfall, measured for the first time during a gas exchange experiment, yielded discrete values as high as 10−2 W kg−1. Stratification modifies and traps the turbulence near the surface, affecting the enhancement of the transfer velocity and also diminishing the vertical mixing of mass transported to the air-water interface. Although the kinetic energy flux is an integral measure of the turbulent input to the system during rain events, ɛ is the most robust response to all the modifications and transformations to the turbulent state that follows. The Craig-Banner turbulence model, modified for rain instead of breaking wave turbulence, successfully predicts the near-surface dissipation profile at the onset of the rain event before stratification plays a dominant role. This result is important for predictive modeling of k as it allows inferring the surface value of ɛ fundamental to gas transfer.
  • Article
    Air-Sea trace gas fluxes: direct and indirect measurements
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-07-29) Fairall, Christopher W. ; Yang, Mingxi ; Brumer, Sophia E. ; Blomquist, Byron ; Edson, James B. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Bariteau, Ludovic ; Pezoa, Sergio ; Bell, Tom G. ; Saltzman, Eric
    The past decade has seen significant technological advance in the observation of trace gas fluxes over the open ocean, most notably CO2, but also an impressive list of other gases. Here we will emphasize flux observations from the air-side of the interface including both turbulent covariance (direct) and surface-layer similarity-based (indirect) bulk transfer velocity methods. Most applications of direct covariance observations have been from ships but recently work has intensified on buoy-based implementation. The principal use of direct methods is to quantify empirical coefficients in bulk estimates of the gas transfer velocity. Advances in direct measurements and some recent field programs that capture a considerable range of conditions with wind speeds exceeding 20 ms-1 are discussed. We use coincident direct flux measurements of CO2 and dimethylsulfide (DMS) to infer the scaling of interfacial viscous and bubble-mediated (whitecap driven) gas transfer mechanisms. This analysis suggests modest chemical enhancement of CO2 flux at low wind speed. We include some updates to the theoretical structure of bulk parameterizations (including chemical enhancement) as framed in the COAREG gas transfer algorithm.
  • Article
    Influence of rain on air-sea gas exchange : lessons from a model ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-07-01) Ho, David T. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; McGillis, Wade R. ; Bliven, Larry F. ; Ward, Brian ; Dacey, John W. H. ; Schlosser, Peter ; Hendricks, Melissa B.
    Rain has been shown to significantly enhance the rate of air-water gas exchange in fresh water environments, and the mechanism behind this enhancement has been studied in laboratory experiments. In the ocean, the effects of rain are complicated by the potential influence of density stratification at the water surface. Since it is difficult to perform controlled rain-induced gas exchange experiments in the open ocean, an SF6 evasion experiment was conducted in the artificial ocean at Biosphere 2. The measurements show a rapid depletion of SF6 in the surface layer due to rain enhancement of air-sea gas exchange, and the gas transfer velocity was similar to that predicted from the relationship established from freshwater laboratory experiments. However, because vertical mixing is reduced by stratification, the overall gas flux is lower than that found during freshwater experiments. Physical measurements of various properties of the ocean during the rain events further elucidate the mechanisms behind the observed response. The findings suggest that short, intense rain events accelerate gas exchange in oceanic environments.
  • Technical Report
    Stratus 9/VOCALS ninth setting of the Stratus Ocean Reference Station & VOCALS Regional Experiment
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2009-04) Whelan, Sean P. ; Lord, Jeffrey ; Galbraith, Nancy R. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Grant, David ; Grados, Carmen ; de Szoeke, Simon P. ; Moffat, Carlos F. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Yang, Mingxi ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Fairall, Christopher W. ; Zuidema, Paquita ; Wolfe, Dan ; Miller, Matthew ; Covert, David
    The Ocean Reference Station at 20°S, 85°W under the stratus clouds west of northern Chile is being maintained to provide ongoing climate-quality records of surface meteorology; air-sea fluxes of heat, freshwater, and momentum; and of upper ocean temperature, salinity, and velocity variability. The Stratus Ocean Reference Station (ORS Stratus) is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Observation Program. It is recovered and redeployed annually, with cruises that have come between October and December. During the 2008 cruise on the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown to the ORS Stratus site, the primary activities were recovery of the Stratus 8 WHOI surface mooring that had been deployed in October 2007, deployment of a new (Stratus 9) WHOI surface mooring at that site; in-situ calibration of the buoy meteorological sensors by comparison with instrumentation put on board by staff of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL); and observations of the stratus clouds and lower atmosphere by NOAA ESRL. A buoy for the Pacific tsunami warning system was also serviced in collaboration with the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy (SHOA). The DART (Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) carries IMET sensors and subsurface oceanographic instruments. A DART II buoy was deployed north of the STRATUS buoy, by personnel from the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) Argo floats and drifters were launched, and CTD casts carried out during the cruise. The ORS Stratus buoys are equipped with two Improved Meteorological (IMET) systems, which provide surface wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, incoming shortwave radiation, incoming longwave radiation, precipitation rate, and sea surface temperature. Additionally, the Stratus 8 buoy received a partial CO2 detector from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). IMET data are made available in near real time using satellite telemetry. The mooring line carries instruments to measure ocean salinity, temperature, and currents. The ESRL instrumentation used during the 2008 cruise included cloud radar, radiosonde balloons, and sensors for mean and turbulent surface meteorology. Finally, the cruise hosted a teacher participating in NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program.
  • Article
    Environmental turbulent mixing controls on air-water gas exchange in marine and aquatic systems
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-05-17) Zappa, Christopher J. ; McGillis, Wade R. ; Raymond, Peter A. ; Edson, James B. ; Hintsa, Eric J. ; Zemmelink, Hendrik J. ; Dacey, John W. H. ; Ho, David T.
    Air-water gas transfer influences CO2 and other climatically important trace gas fluxes on regional and global scales, yet the magnitude of the transfer is not well known. Widely used models of gas exchange rates are based on empirical relationships linked to wind speed, even though physical processes other than wind are known to play important roles. Here the first field investigations are described supporting a new mechanistic model based on surface water turbulence that predicts gas exchange for a range of aquatic and marine processes. Findings indicate that the gas transfer rate varies linearly with the turbulent dissipation rate to the inline equation power in a range of systems with different types of forcing - in the coastal ocean, in a macro-tidal river estuary, in a large tidal freshwater river, and in a model (i.e., artificial) ocean. These results have important implications for understanding carbon cycling.
  • Article
    Super sites for advancing understanding of the oceanic and atmospheric boundary layers
    (Marine Technology Society, 2021-05-01) Clayson, Carol A. ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Cronin, Meghan F. ; Edson, James B. ; Gille, Sarah T. ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Parfitt, Rhys ; Riihimaki, Laura D. ; Smith, Shawn R. ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Vandemark, Douglas ; Villas Bôas, Ana B. ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Zhang, Dongxiao
    Air‐sea interactions are critical to large-scale weather and climate predictions because of the ocean's ability to absorb excess atmospheric heat and carbon and regulate exchanges of momentum, water vapor, and other greenhouse gases. These exchanges are controlled by molecular, turbulent, and wave-driven processes in the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers. Improved understanding and representation of these processes in models are key for increasing Earth system prediction skill, particularly for subseasonal to decadal time scales. Our understanding and ability to model these processes within this coupled system is presently inadequate due in large part to a lack of data: contemporaneous long-term observations from the top of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL) to the base of the oceanic mixing layer. We propose the concept of “Super Sites” to provide multi-year suites of measurements at specific locations to simultaneously characterize physical and biogeochemical processes within the coupled boundary layers at high spatial and temporal resolution. Measurements will be made from floating platforms, buoys, towers, and autonomous vehicles, utilizing both in-situ and remote sensors. The engineering challenges and level of coordination, integration, and interoperability required to develop these coupled ocean‐atmosphere Super Sites place them in an “Ocean Shot” class.
  • Article
    Moored turbulence measurements using pulse-coherent doppler sonar
    (American Meteorological Society, 2021-09-01) Zippel, Seth F. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Miller, Una ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Ijichi, Takashi ; Weller, Robert A. ; McRaven, Leah T. ; Nylund, Sven ; Le Bel, Deborah
    Upper-ocean turbulence is central to the exchanges of heat, momentum, and gases across the air–sea interface and therefore plays a large role in weather and climate. Current understanding of upper-ocean mixing is lacking, often leading models to misrepresent mixed layer depths and sea surface temperature. In part, progress has been limited by the difficulty of measuring turbulence from fixed moorings that can simultaneously measure surface fluxes and upper-ocean stratification over long time periods. Here we introduce a direct wavenumber method for measuring turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rates ϵ from long-enduring moorings using pulse-coherent ADCPs. We discuss optimal programming of the ADCPs, a robust mechanical design for use on a mooring to maximize data return, and data processing techniques including phase-ambiguity unwrapping, spectral analysis, and a correction for instrument response. The method was used in the Salinity Processes Upper-Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) to collect two year-long datasets. We find that the mooring-derived TKE dissipation rates compare favorably to estimates made nearby from a microstructure shear probe mounted to a glider during its two separate 2-week missions for O(10−8) ≤ ϵ ≤ O(10−5) m2 s−3. Periods of disagreement between turbulence estimates from the two platforms coincide with differences in vertical temperature profiles, which may indicate that barrier layers can substantially modulate upper-ocean turbulence over horizontal scales of 1–10 km. We also find that dissipation estimates from two different moorings at 12.5 and at 7 m are in agreement with the surface buoyancy flux during periods of strong nighttime convection, consistent with classic boundary layer theory.
  • Article
    Parsing the kinetic energy budget of the ocean surface mixed layer
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-01-10) Zippel, Seth F. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Plueddemann, Albert J.
    The total rate of work done on the ocean by the wind is of considerable interest for understanding global energy balances, as the energy from the wind drives ocean currents, grows surface waves, and forces vertical mixing. A large but unknown fraction of this atmospheric energy is dissipated by turbulence in the upper ocean. The focus of this work is twofold. First, we describe a framework for evaluating the vertically integrated turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) equation using measurable quantities from a surface mooring, showing the connection to the atmospheric, mean oceanic, and wave energy. Second, we use this framework to evaluate turbulent energetics in the mixed layer using 10 months of mooring data. This evaluation is made possible by recent advances in estimating TKE dissipation rates from long-enduring moorings. We find that surface fluxes are balanced by TKE dissipation rates in the mixed layer to within a factor of two.
  • Article
    Scaling of moored surface ocean turbulence measurements in the Southeast Pacific Ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-12-17) Miller, Una Kim ; Zappa, Christopher J. ; Zippel, Seth F. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Weller, Robert A.
    Estimates of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rate (ε) are key in understanding how heat, gas, and other climate‐relevant properties are transferred across the air‐sea interface and mixed within the ocean. A relatively new method involving moored pulse‐coherent acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) allows for estimates of ε with concurrent surface flux and wave measurements across an extensive length of time and range of conditions. Here, we present 9 months of moored estimates of ε at a fixed depth of 8.4 m at the Stratus mooring site (20°S, 85°W). We find that turbulence regimes are quantified similarly using the Obukhov length scale (LM) $({L}_{M})$ and the newer Langmuir stability length scale (LL) $({L}_{L})$, suggesting that ocean‐side friction velocity u∗ $\left({u}_{\ast }\right)$ implicitly captures the influence of Langmuir turbulence at this site. This is illustrated by a strong correlation between surface Stokes drift us $\left({u}_{s}\right)$ and u∗ ${u}_{\ast }$ that is likely facilitated by the steady Southeast trade winds regime. In certain regimes, u∗3κz $\frac{{u}_{\ast }^{3}}{\kappa z}$, where κ $\kappa $ is the von Kármán constant and z $z$ is instrument depth, and surface buoyancy flux capture our estimates of ε $\varepsilon $ well, collapsing data points near unity. We find that a newer Langmuir turbulence scaling, based on us ${u}_{s}$ and u∗ ${u}_{\ast }$, scales ε well at times but is overall less consistent than u∗3κz $\frac{{u}_{\ast }^{3}}{\kappa z}$. Monin‐Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) relationships from prior studies in a variety of aquatic and atmospheric settings largely agree with our data in conditions where convection and wind‐driven current shear are both significant sources of TKE, but diverge in other regimes.