Brearley J. Alexander

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J. Alexander

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  • Article
    Modification of turbulent dissipation rates by a deep Southern Ocean eddy
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-05-07) Sheen, Katy L. ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C. ; Smeed, David A. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Meredith, Michael P. ; Thurnherr, Andreas M. ; Waterman, Stephanie N.
    The impact of a mesoscale eddy on the magnitude and spatial distribution of diapycnal ocean mixing is investigated using a set of hydrographic and microstructure measurements collected in the Southern Ocean. These data sampled a baroclinic, middepth eddy formed during the disintegration of a deep boundary current. Turbulent dissipation is suppressed within the eddy but is elevated by up to an order of magnitude along the upper and lower eddy boundaries. A ray tracing approximation is employed as a heuristic device to elucidate how the internal wave field evolves in the ambient velocity and stratification conditions accompanying the eddy. These calculations are consistent with the observations, suggesting reflection of internal wave energy from the eddy center and enhanced breaking through critical layer processes along the eddy boundaries. These results have important implications for understanding where and how internal wave energy is dissipated in the presence of energetic deep geostrophic flows.
  • Article
    Diapycnal mixing in the Southern Ocean diagnosed using the DIMES tracer and realistic velocity fields
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-04-13) Mackay, Neill ; Ledwell, James R. ; Messias, Marie-Jose ; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C. ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Meijers, Andrew J. S. ; Jones, Daniel C. ; Watson, Andrew J.
    In this work, we use realistic isopycnal velocities with a 3-D eddy diffusivity to advect and diffuse a tracer in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, beginning in the Southeast Pacific and progressing through Drake Passage. We prescribe a diapycnal diffusivity which takes one value in the SE Pacific west of 678W and another value in Drake Passage east of that longitude, and optimize the diffusivities using a cost function to give a best fit to experimental data from the DIMES (Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean) tracer, released near the boundary between the Upper and Lower Circumpolar Deep Water. We find that diapycnal diffusivity is enhanced 20-fold in Drake Passage compared with the SE Pacific, consistent with previous estimates obtained using a simpler advection-diffusion model with constant, but different, zonal velocities east and west of 678W. Our result shows that diapycnal mixing in the ACC plays a significant role in transferring buoyancy within the Meridional Overturning Circulation.
  • Article
    The annual salinity cycle of the Denmark Strait Overflow
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-03-22) Opher, Jacob G. ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Dye, Stephen R. ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Renfrew, Ian A. ; Harden, Benjamin E. ; Meredith, Michael P.
    The Denmark Strait Overflow (DSO) is an important source of dense water input to the deep limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). It is fed by separate currents from the north that advect dense water masses formed in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean which then converge at Denmark Strait. Here we identify an annual salinity cycle of the DSO, characterized by freshening in winter and spring. The freshening is linked to freshening of the Shelfbreak East Greenland Current in the Blosseville Basin north of the Denmark Strait. We demonstrate that the East Greenland Current advects fresh pycnocline water above the recirculating Atlantic Water, which forms a low salinity lid for the overflow in Denmark Strait and in the Irminger Basin. This concept is supported by intensified freshening of the DSO in lighter density classes on the Greenland side of the overflow. The salinity of the DSO in the Irminger Basin is significantly correlated with northerly/northeasterly winds in the Blosseville Basin at a lag of 3–4 months, consistent with estimated transit times. This suggests that wind driven variability of DSO source water exerts an important influence on the salinity variability of the downstream DSO, and hence the composition of the deep limb of the AMOC.
  • Article
    Rates and mechanisms of turbulent dissipation and mixing in the Southern Ocean : results from the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES)
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-06-04) Sheen, Katy L. ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C. ; Smeed, David A. ; Waterman, Stephanie N. ; Ledwell, James R. ; Meredith, Michael P. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Thurnherr, Andreas M. ; Toole, John M. ; Watson, Andrew J.
    The spatial distribution of turbulent dissipation rates and internal wavefield characteristics is analyzed across two contrasting regimes of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), using microstructure and finestructure data collected as part of the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES). Mid-depth turbulent dissipation rates are found to increase from inline image in the Southeast Pacific to inline image in the Scotia Sea, typically reaching inline image within a kilometer of the seabed. Enhanced levels of turbulent mixing are associated with strong near-bottom flows, rough topography, and regions where the internal wavefield is found to have enhanced energy, a less-inertial frequency content and a dominance of upward propagating energy. These results strongly suggest that bottom-generated internal waves play a major role in determining the spatial distribution of turbulent dissipation in the ACC. The energy flux associated with the bottom internal wave generation process is calculated using wave radiation theory, and found to vary between 0.8 mW m−2 in the Southeast Pacific and 14 mW m−2 in the Scotia Sea. Typically, 10%–30% of this energy is found to dissipate within 1 km of the seabed. Comparison between turbulent dissipation rates inferred from finestructure parameterizations and microstructure-derived estimates suggests a significant departure from wave-wave interaction physics in the near-field of wave generation sites.
  • Article
    Three-dimensional structure of a cold-core Arctic eddy interacting with the Chukchi slope current
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-11-11) Scott, Ryan M. ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Lin, Peigen ; Münchow, Andreas ; Li, Min ; Stockwell, Dean A. ; Brearley, J. Alexander
    A rapid, high‐resolution shipboard survey, using a combination of lowered and expendable hydrographic measurements and vessel‐mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler data, provided a unique three‐dimensional view of an Arctic anti‐cyclonic cold‐core eddy. The eddy was situated 50‐km seaward of the Chukchi Sea shelfbreak over the 1,000 m isobath, embedded in the offshore side of the Chukchi slope current. The eddy core, centered near 150‐m depth, consisted of newly ventilated Pacific winter water which was high in nitrate and dissolved oxygen. Its fluorescence signal was due to phaeopigments rather than chlorophyll, indicating that photosynthesis was no longer active, consistent with an eddy age on the order of months. Subtracting out the slope current signal demonstrated that the eddy velocity field was symmetrical with a peak azimuthal speed of order 10 cm s−1. Its Rossby number was ~0.4, consistent with the fact that the measured cyclogeostrophic velocity was dominated by the geostrophic component. Different scenarios are discussed regarding how the eddy became embedded in the slope current, and what the associated ramifications are with respect to eddy spin‐down and ventilation of the Canada Basin halocline.
  • Article
    OceanGliders: A component of the integrated GOOS
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-10-02) Testor, Pierre ; de Young, Brad ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Glenn, Scott ; Hayes, Daniel J. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Pattiaratchi, Charitha ; Hill, Katherine Louise ; Heslop, Emma ; Turpin, Victor ; Alenius, Pekka ; Barrera, Carlos ; Barth, John A. ; Beaird, Nicholas ; Bécu, Guislain ; Bosse, Anthony ; Bourrin, François ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Chao, Yi ; Chen, Sue ; Chiggiato, Jacopo ; Coppola, Laurent ; Crout, Richard ; Cummings, James A. ; Curry, Beth ; Curry, Ruth G. ; Davis, Richard F. ; Desai, Kruti ; DiMarco, Steven F. ; Edwards, Catherine ; Fielding, Sophie ; Fer, Ilker ; Frajka-Williams, Eleanor ; Gildor, Hezi ; Goni, Gustavo J. ; Gutierrez, Dimitri ; Haugan, Peter M. ; Hebert, David ; Heiderich, Joleen ; Henson, Stephanie A. ; Heywood, Karen J. ; Hogan, Patrick ; Houpert, Loïc ; Huh, Sik ; Inall, Mark E. ; Ishii, Masao ; Ito, Shin-ichi ; Itoh, Sachihiko ; Jan, Sen ; Kaiser, Jan ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Kirkpatrick, Barbara ; Klymak, Jody M. ; Kohut, Josh ; Krahmann, Gerd ; Krug, Marjolaine ; McClatchie, Sam ; Marin, Frédéric ; Mauri, Elena ; Mehra, Avichal ; Meredith, Michael P. ; Meunier, Thomas ; Miles, Travis ; Morell, Julio M. ; Mortier, Laurent ; Nicholson, Sarah ; O'Callaghan, Joanne ; O'Conchubhair, Diarmuid ; Oke, Peter ; Pallás-Sanz, Enric ; Palmer, Matthew D. ; Park, Jong Jin ; Perivoliotis, Leonidas ; Poulain, Pierre Marie ; Perry, Ruth ; Queste, Bastien ; Rainville, Luc ; Rehm, Eric ; Roughan, Moninya ; Rome, Nicholas ; Ross, Tetjana ; Ruiz, Simon ; Saba, Grace ; Schaeffer, Amandine ; Schönau, Martha ; Schroeder, Katrin ; Shimizu, Yugo ; Sloyan, Bernadette M. ; Smeed, David A. ; Snowden, Derrick ; Song, Yumi ; Swart, Sebastiaan ; Tenreiro, Miguel ; Thompson, Andrew ; Tintore, Joaquin ; Todd, Robert E. ; Toro, Cesar ; Venables, Hugh J. ; Wagawa, Taku ; Waterman, Stephanie N. ; Watlington, Roy A. ; Wilson, Doug
    The OceanGliders program started in 2016 to support active coordination and enhancement of global glider activity. OceanGliders contributes to the international efforts of the Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS) for Climate, Ocean Health, and Operational Services. It brings together marine scientists and engineers operating gliders around the world: (1) to observe the long-term physical, biogeochemical, and biological ocean processes and phenomena that are relevant for societal applications; and, (2) to contribute to the GOOS through real-time and delayed mode data dissemination. The OceanGliders program is distributed across national and regional observing systems and significantly contributes to integrated, multi-scale and multi-platform sampling strategies. OceanGliders shares best practices, requirements, and scientific knowledge needed for glider operations, data collection and analysis. It also monitors global glider activity and supports the dissemination of glider data through regional and global databases, in real-time and delayed modes, facilitating data access to the wider community. OceanGliders currently supports national, regional and global initiatives to maintain and expand the capabilities and application of gliders to meet key global challenges such as improved measurement of ocean boundary currents, water transformation and storm forecast.
  • Article
    Observed eddy-internal wave interactions in the Southern Ocean
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-10-01) Cusack, Jesse M. ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C. ; Smeed, David A. ; Polzin, Kurt L. ; Velzeboer, Nick ; Shakespeare, Callum J.
    The physical mechanisms that remove energy from the Southern Ocean’s vigorous mesoscale eddy field are not well understood. One proposed mechanism is direct energy transfer to the internal wave field in the ocean interior, via eddy-induced straining and shearing of preexisting internal waves. The magnitude, vertical structure, and temporal variability of the rate of energy transfer between eddies and internal waves is quantified from a 14-month deployment of a mooring cluster in the Scotia Sea. Velocity and buoyancy observations are decomposed into wave and eddy components, and the energy transfer is estimated using the Reynolds-averaged energy equation. We find that eddies gain energy from the internal wave field at a rate of −2.2 ± 0.6 mW m−2, integrated from the bottom to 566 m below the surface. This result can be decomposed into a positive (eddy to wave) component, equal to 0.2 ± 0.1 mW m−2, driven by horizontal straining of internal waves, and a negative (wave to eddy) component, equal to −2.5 ± 0.6 mW m−2, driven by vertical shearing of the wave spectrum. Temporal variability of the transfer rate is much greater than the mean value. Close to topography, large energy transfers are associated with low-frequency buoyancy fluxes, the underpinning physics of which do not conform to linear wave dynamics and are thereby in need of further research. Our work suggests that eddy–internal wave interactions may play a significant role in the energy balance of the Southern Ocean mesoscale eddy and internal wave fields.