Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 26–30 | Cite as

The variation of turbulent diapycnal mixing at 18°N in the South China Sea stirred by wind stress



The spatial and temporal variations of turbulent diapycnal mixing along 18°N in the South China Sea (SCS) are estimated by a fine-scale parameterization method based on strain, which is obtained from CTD measurements in yearly September from 2004 to 2010. The section mean diffusivity can reach ~10–4 m2/s, which is an order of magnitude larger than the value in the open ocean. Both internal tides and wind-generated near-inertial internal waves play an important role in furnishing the diapycnal mixing here. The former dominates the diapycnal mixing in the deep ocean and makes nonnegligible contribution in the upper ocean, leading to enhanced diapycnal mixing throughout the water column over rough topography. In contrast, the influence of the wind-induced near-inertial internal wave is mainly confined to the upper ocean. Over both flat and rough bathymetries, the diapycnal diffusivity has a growth trend from 2005 to 2010 in the upper 700 m, which results from the increase of wind work on the near-inertial motions.

Key words

diapycnal mixing diffusivity wind-induced near-inertial internal wave topography 


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The authors thank the Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Environment Dynamics, the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences for providing the CTD data. We are grateful for the suggestions from Yang Qingxuan.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physical Oceanography LaboratoryOcean University of China/CIMSTQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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