Special ClimaTea


Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 12:00pm



Speaker: Nicole Shibley from Yale University

Title: "Inferring Mixing from Acoustic Observations of Double-Diffusive Staircases in the Arctic Ocean"

Abstract: Double-diffusive convection is a small-scale convective mixing process that may occur in the ocean where temperature and salinity both increase with depth. It is identifiable by its distinct staircase structure, consisting of thick mixed layers separated by high-gradient interfaces in temperature and salinity. In the Arctic Ocean, these staircases are widely present in the interior basin and are responsible for transporting heat upwards to the overlying sea ice cover. However, they are largely absent around basin boundaries, likely due to the effect of intermittent turbulence. Recent acoustic observations of the Arctic Ocean provide a high-resolution method of visualizing an individual staircase evolve in both space and time. In this talk, I will show how these acoustic observations may be used to infer mixing levels associated with double diffusion and to understand the persistence of double diffusion in a setting of weak background turbulence. Paper # 1, paper # 2.

See also: ClimaTea