Journal article

The Influence of Submesoscales and Vertical Mixing on the Export of Sinking Tracers in Large-Eddy Simulations

John R Taylor, Katherine M Smith, Catherine A Vreugdenhil

Journal of Physical Oceanography | American Meteorological Society | Published : 2020

Abstract

We use idealized large-eddy simulations (LES) and a simple analytical theory to study the influence of submesoscales on the concentration and export of sinking particles from the mixed layer. We find that restratification of the mixed layer following the development of submesoscales reduces the rate of vertical mixing which, in turn, enhances the export rate associated with gravitational settling. For a neutral tracer initially confined to the mixed layer, subinertial (submesoscale) motions enhance the downward tracer flux, consistent with previous studies. However, the sign of the advective flux associated with the concentration of sinking particles reverses, indicating reentrainment into t..

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University of Melbourne Researchers