Turbulent kinetic energy dissipation in Barrow Canyon

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Shroyer, Emily L.
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Continental shelf/slope
Small scale processes
Pacific Water flows across the shallow Chukchi Sea before reaching the Arctic Ocean, where it is a source of heat, freshwater, nutrients, and carbon. A substantial portion of Pacific Water is routed through Barrow Canyon, located in the northeast corner of the Chukchi. Barrow Canyon is a region of complex geometry and forcing where a variety of water masses have been observed to coexist. These factors contribute to a dynamic physical environment, with the potential for significant water mass transformation. The measurements of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation presented here indicate diapycnal mixing is important in the upper canyon. Elevated dissipation rates were observed near the pycnocline, effectively mixing winter and summer water masses, as well as within the bottom boundary layer. The slopes of shear/stratification layers, combined with analysis of rotary spectra, suggest that near-inertial wave activity may be important in modulating dissipation near the bottom. Because the canyon is known to be a hotspot of productivity with an active benthic community, mixing may be an important factor in maintenance of the biological environment.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 1012–1021, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0184.1.
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Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 1012–1021
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