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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 2
Ocean Sci., 12, 601–612, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-12-601-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ocean Sci., 12, 601–612, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-12-601-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 26 Apr 2016

Research article | 26 Apr 2016

Mapping turbulent diffusivity associated with oceanic internal lee waves offshore Costa Rica

Will F. J. Fortin et al.
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Cited articles  
Baines, P. G.: Topographic effects in stratified flows, Book, Whole, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, 1995.
Eakin, D., Holbrook, W. S., and Fer, I.: Seismic reflection imaging of large-amplitude lee waves in the Caribbean Sea, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L21601, https://doi.org/10.1029/2011gl049157, 2011.
Farmer, D. M. and Armi, L.: The flow of Atlantic water through the Strait of Gibralter – the flow of the Mediterranean water through the Strait of Gibralter, Prog. Oceanogr., 21, 0079-6611, https://doi.org/10.1016/0079-6611(88)90055-9, 1988.
Farmer, D. M. and Smith, J. D.: Tidal interaction of stratified flow with a sill in Knight Inlet, Deep-Sea Res. Pt. I, 27, 0198-0149, https://doi.org/10.1016/0198-0149(80)90015-1, 1980.
Fortin, W. F. J. and Holbrook, W. S.: Sound speed requirements for optimal imaging of seismic oceanography data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L00d01, https://doi.org/10.1029/2009gl038991, 2009.
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Short summary
Lee waves play a significant role in ocean mixing but are difficult to study with traditional casts, moorings, and tows due to their stationary nature and limited spatial extent. We develop a new method to estimate turbulent diffusivity from seismic data and find elevated levels of turbulence associated with lee waves in the mid-water and around the seafloor that are 5 times greater than surrounding waters and 50 times greater than open-ocean diffusivities.
Lee waves play a significant role in ocean mixing but are difficult to study with traditional...
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