Kurt L. Polzin

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Observations of internal wave velocity fluctuations show that enhanced turbulent mixing over rough topography in the Southern Ocean is remarkably intense and widespread. Mixing rates exceeding background values by a factor of 10 to 1000 are common above complex bathymetry over a distance of 2000 to 3000 kilometers at depths greater than 500 to 1000 meters.(More)
Profiles of diapycnal eddy diffusivity to a maximum depth of 4000 meters were derived from ocean velocity and temperature microstructure data obtained in conjunction with separate experiments in the Northeast Pacific and Northeast Atlantic oceans. These profiles indicate that in the ocean interior where the internal wave field is at background intensity,(More)
Diapycnal mixing plays a significant role in the ocean's circulation and uptake of heat and carbon dioxide, but has not been quantified in salt finger-driven thermohaline staircases. We recently performed a tracer release experiment in the western tropical Atlantic staircase at approximately 400 m depth. The observed dispersion implies an effective(More)
Motivated by the recent interest in ocean energetics, the widespread use of horizontal eddy viscosity in models, and the promise of high horizontal resolution data from the planned wide-swath satellite altimeter, this paper explores the impacts of horizontal eddy viscosity and horizontal grid resolution on geostrophic turbulence, with a particular focus on(More)
Article is made available in accordance with the publisher's policy and may be subject to US copyright law. Please refer to the publisher's site for terms of use. The MIT Faculty has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters. ABSTRACT Direct observations in the Southern Ocean report enhanced internal(More)
Steady scale-invariant solutions of a kinetic equation describing the statistics of oceanic internal gravity waves based on wave turbulence theory are investigated. It is shown in the nonrotating scale-invariant limit that the collision integral in the kinetic equation diverges for almost all spectral power-law exponents. These divergences come from(More)
Various approaches have been developed over the last four decades to characterize the magnitude of nonlinear interactions between triads of internal waves in stratified oceanic flows. The present manuscript compares some of these approaches and their predictions for internal wave nonlinearity parameter and Boltzman rate. We demonstrate that, for resonant(More)
Various approaches have been developed over the last four decades to characterize the magnitude of nonlinear interaction between triads of internal waves in stratified oceanographic flows. The present manuscript compares some of these approaches and demonstrates that, in the limit of long internal waves in hydrostatic balance and in the absence of rotation,(More)
We present a theory predicting the high-frequency-high-wavenumber part of the spectral energy density of internal waves in the ocean. The theory is based on the wave turbulence formalism applied to a natural Hamiltonian description for the internal wave field. We show that stationary energy spectra form a family of statistically steady state scale invariant(More)
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