Temperature and Steady State Vertical Heat Flux in the Ocean Surface Layers


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    Contribution No. 1199 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


The occurrence of a quasi-isothermal surface layer is shown to be a necessary consequence of the vertical distribution of heat sources and sinks, which requires an upward transport of heat. The depth of the convective layer depends essentially on a balance between the absorption of visible radiation within the layer and the loss of heat at the surface. Variations in the profile below the isothermal layer are primarily caused by vertical motion. Numerical examples illustrate the effects of meteorological conditions on the heat loss and hence on the surface temperature and thermal structure below.