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Mixing pathways in forced stratified turbulence

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Turbulent mixing plays a vital role in the vertical transport of heat, nutrients and carbon through the ocean. Its simple parametrisation in large-scale circulation models contributes to significant uncertainties in global climate predictions. To improve our understanding of mixing, we perform high-resolution 3D direct numerical simulations of forced stratified turbulence. Motivated by the ocean’s ambient internal wave field, we force the flow with propagating internal gravity waves. We compare this flow to that arising from random forcing used in previous stratified turbulence studies and find that mixing is achieved through qualitatively different energy pathways in the two cases.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (CUED) series.

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