Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/72982
Title: A mechanism for layer formation in stratified geophysical flows
Authors: Pelegrí Llopart,José Luis 
Sangrá Inciarte, Pablo 
UNESCO Clasification: 2510 Oceanografía
Keywords: Gulf-Stream
Boundary Currents
Shear-Flow
Turbulence
Fluids, et al
Issue Date: 1998
Journal: Journal of geophysical research. Oceans 
Abstract: We discuss the possibility that steplike structures are formed in subcritical regions of vertically stratified shear flow. The mechanism we propose essentially consists of localized intense mixing in highly stratified and sheared flows, probably following frontogenesis. Its main assumption is that the vertical density flux increases monotonically with decreasing gradient Richardson numbers, which corresponds to enhanced stratification and/or diapycnal shear. This differs from Phillips' [1972] mechanism, which we argue may not apply to vertically stratified shear flow. An essential condition for the formation of constant density steps is the incorporation of a Langevin type equation which takes into account that turbulence must last for some finite characteristic time. We present numerical computations for the case of approximately constant diapycnal shear which lead to the formation of a staircase depth-density structure.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/72982
ISSN: 2169-9291
Source: Journal Of Geophysical Research-Oceans [ISSN 2169-9291], v. 103 (C13), p. 30679-30693, (Diciembre 1998)
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