Connection between encounter volume and diffusivity in geophysical flows
Rypina, Irina I.
Llewellyn Smith, Stefan
Pratt, Lawrence J.
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Trajectory encounter volume – the volume of fluid that passes close to a reference fluid parcel over some time interval – has been recently introduced as a measure of mixing potential of a flow. Diffusivity is the most commonly used characteristic of turbulent diffusion. We derive the analytical relationship between the encounter volume and diffusivity under the assumption of an isotropic random walk, i.e., diffusive motion, in one and two dimensions. We apply the derived formulas to produce maps of encounter volume and the corresponding diffusivity in the Gulf Stream region of the North Atlantic based on satellite altimetry, and discuss the mixing properties of Gulf Stream rings. Advantages offered by the derived formula for estimating diffusivity from oceanographic data are discussed, as well as applications to other disciplines.
© The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 25 (2018): 267-278, doi:10.5194/npg-25-267-2018.
Suggested CitationNonlinear Processes in Geophysics 25 (2018): 267-278
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