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AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009
Date:8/6/2009

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2009GL038450, 2009; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL038450


13. Closely spaced fjords increase ocean mixing

Ocean mixing generated in confined areas such as fjords can play an important role in the larger-scale ocean circulation. However, most ocean circulation studies have focused on open regions. To examine how waves below the surface, known as internal waves, are modified by closely spaced submerged ridges, or sills, Xing and Davies create an idealized cross-sectional model of a fjord. They examine a version with a single isolated sill as well as one with two sills separated by 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles), a separation typical in fjords. The model shows that, in the case of two sills, internal waves become trapped between the two sills, leading to standing wave generation as well as increased mixing as energy is transferred from larger waves to shorter waves. In contrast, in the single-sill simulation, standing wave generation and increased mixing do not occur. The authors note that the results explain recent observations around fjords and could also be applied to lakes or other situations with closely spaced bottom topography.

Title: Influence of multiple sills upon internal wave generation and the implications for mixing

Authors: Jiuxing Xing and Alan M. Davies: Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool, UK.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2009GL038181, 2009; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL038181


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Contact: Maria-Jose Vinas
mjvinas@agu.org
202-777-7530
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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