RRS Discovery Cruise 381, 14 Sep - 03 Oct 2012. Ocean Surface Mixing, Ocean Submesoscale Interaction Study (OSMOSIS)

John Allen, A. Naveira-Garabato

    Research output: Working paper


    D381B was a process study cruise to support the NERC's Ocean Surface Boundary layer theme action programme, OSMOSIS (Ocean Surface Mixing, Ocean Sub-mesoscale interaction Study). The ocean surface boundary layer (OSBL) deepens in response to convective, wind and surface wave forcing, which produce three-dimensional turbulence that entrains denser water, deepening the layer. The OSBL shoals in response to solar heating and to mesoscale and sub-mesoscale motions that adjust lateral buoyancy gradients into vertical stratification. Recent and ongoing work is revolutionising our view of both the deepening and shoaling processes: new processes are coming into focus that are not currently recognised in model parameterisation schemes. In OSMOSIS we have a project which integrates observations, modelling studies and parameterisation development to deliver a step change in modelling of the OSBL. The OSMOSIS overall aim is to develop new, physically based and observationally supported, parameterisations of processes that deepen and shoal the OSBL, and to implement and evaluate these parameterisations in a state-of-the-art global coupled climate model, facilitating improved weather and climate predictions. To support this, D381B has firstly completed mooring and glider deployment work begun during the preceding D381A cruise. Secondly we have carried out several days of targetted turbulence profiling for looking at changes in turbulent energy dissipation resulting from the interation of upper ocean fluid structures such as eddies, sub-mesoscale filaments and Langmuir cells with surface wind and current shear. Finally we have carried out two spatial surveys with the towed SeaSoar vehicle to map and diagnose the mesoscale and sub-mesoscale flows, which, unusually, are the `large scale' background in which this study sits.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationSouthampton
    PublisherNational Oceanography Centre Southampton
    Number of pages171
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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