Evidence of enhanced turbulent dissipation in the frontogenetic Kuroshio Front thermocline
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 12, June 2009
How to Cite
2009), Evidence of enhanced turbulent dissipation in the frontogenetic Kuroshio Front thermocline, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L12609, doi:10.1029/2009GL038832., , , and (
- Issue published online: 30 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 16 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Received: 22 APR 2009
- turbulent dissipation;
 Enhanced turbulent dissipation, O(10−8–10−7) Wkg−1 in the thermocline on the cyclonic side of the Kuroshio Front was observed during a period of frontogenesis, using a microstructure profiler, XBT and ADCP along 143°E across the Kuroshio Front in August 2008. The eddy diffusivity corresponding to the mixing below the central jet is estimated to be O(10−4–10−3) m2 s−1. The strong turbulent mixing we observed in the Kuroshio is in sharp contrast to previous field measurements which found that small scale diapycnal mixing in western boundary currents remains at levels typically measured in the open ocean thermocline. The turbulence in the Kuroshio is attributed to frontogenesis arising out of an estimated confluence rate of O(10−5) s−1 based on satellite altimeters, suggesting the ubiquity of a forward energy cascade from mesoscale to microscale turbulence near ocean fronts as indicated by recent theoretical studies.