Figure 1: An oceanographic mixing bowl. | Nature

Figure 1: An oceanographic mixing bowl.

From: An extra dimension to mixing

Figure 1

The bowl shape represents a surface on which the temperature is constant, capped by an Ekman layer in which the wind directly drives water flow and mixing. The sum of the heat input due to direct surface heating and to Ekman flow must be balanced by heat transport out of the bowl's sides below the mixed layer. Marshall and colleagues1,2 propose that eddies breaking away from the bowl transport this heat at a rate that is determined by the bowl's shape. Applying this heat budget to a series of bowls nested inside one another (inset) results in a temperature pattern involving a region where temperature varies with depth: the thermocline.

Back to article page