Convection in the Upper Ocean

  • Theodore D. Foster
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 17)


Convective phenomena in the upper ocean are important to an understanding of the flow patterns that occur in the mixed layer. Small scale convection can occur just below the sea surface whenever there is a transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. The horizontal scale of this convection will typically be a few centimetres. Usually this convection will be intermittent with a characteristic period of the order of a minute. The small scale convection can transfer energy to larger spatial and temporal scales until the spatial scale reaches a size of the same order as the depth of the mixed layer.


Nusselt Number Mixed Layer Rayleigh Number Thermal Boundary Layer Thermal Convection 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore D. Foster
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Natural SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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