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Title: Diapycnal mixing in a frontal system forced by an oscillating deformation field
Authors: Rodríguez-Santana, A. 
Pelegrí Llopart,José Luis 
Sangrá Inciarte, Pablo 
UNESCO Clasification: 251007 Oceanografía física
Keywords: Diapycnal mixing
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: 1464-1909
Journal: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydrology, Oceans and Atmosphere 
Abstract: A fi-ontogenesis model with shear-induced diapycnal mixing has been developed to investigate the importance of mixing in the evolution of a frontal system. The model estimates the intensity of mixing induced by geostrophic shear through the mean density tendency, which represents the material derivative of the mean density due to the divergence of the vertical density flux. This flux is determined by the vertical gradient of the mean density and the turbulent diffusivity, the latter being related to the gradient Richardson number. The process of frontogenesis is based on an oscillating horizontal deformation field characterised by a compression phase and an expansion phase. During the compression phase both the vertical density gradient and the diapycnal velocity gradient increase their values. Therefore the gradient Richardson number decreases and the density tendency increases, characterising zones with high diapycnal mass convergence/divergence. These high values cause significant mixing and a redistribution of the isopycnal surfaces that persist in the phase of expansion. In this last phase, the gradient Richardson number increases leading to a decay of the diapycnal mixing, except in zones where mixing maintains its intensity.
ISSN: 1464-1909
DOI: 10.1016/S1464-1909(01)00009-0
Source: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydrology, Oceans and Atmosphere [ISSN 1464-1909], v. 26, p. 293-298
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