Nearly all operational models of upper-ocean mixing assume that the turbulence responsible for this mixing is driven by the atmospheric fluxes of momentum, heat, and moisture and the shear imposed by the ocean circulation. This idealization is supported by historical measurements of dissipation rate within the boundary layer. Detailed measurements made recently by many investigators and supported by theoretical and numerical results have found significant deviations from this classical view attributable to the influence of surface waves. Although a review of these measurements finds strong support for the influence of waves—and, in particular, for the predictions of large-eddy simulations, including the Craik-Leibovich vortex force—there are insufficient data to give definitive support to a new paradigm.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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