Large eddy simulation (LES) reveals that the Coriolis force plays an important role in seasonal thermocline formation. In the high-latitude ocean, a seasonal thermocline is formed at a certain depth, across which the downward transports of heat and momentum are prohibited. On the other hand, in the equatorial ocean, heat and momentum continue to propagate downward to the deeper ocean without forming a well-defined thermocline. Mechanism to clarify the latitudinal difference is suggested. The depth of a seasonal thermocline h is scaled in terms of both the Ekman length scale λ and the Monin-Obukhov length scale L, as h ≅ 0.5(Lλ)1/2, which is in contrast to the earlier suggestion as h ∝ L.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST; NRF-2009-C1AAA001-0093068) and the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program (CATER 2012–6090).
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