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Simulations of stratified turbulence surrounding Meddy structures

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The Nature of High Reynolds Number Turbulence

Recently available geosismic data in the North-East Atlantic ocean have revealed ubiquituous pancake-like layers of density anomalies of 30-60 meters thickness, surrounding Meddy structures within the Mediterranean Water outflow. The depths of pancake-like density layering unambiguously coincide with potential energy spectra in $k_h$,—where $k_h$ is the horizontal wavenumber—, for horizontal spatial scales less than 1km, reminiscent of non-rotating stratified turbulence results. Using ultra-high 3D resolution simulations of a Meddy structure on the Earth Simulator, with a horizontal grid size down to 100m and a vertical grid size of 3m, we have been able to reproduce the pancake-like layering surrounding the eddy. Furthermore, potential and kinetic energy with $k_h{-5/3}$ inertial ranges are simulated. A rationale is proposed for the formation mechanism of the layering and we discuss the influence of rotation on stratifed turbulence properties.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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