Turbulence within the surface boundary layer
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The ocean covers approximately 71 percent of the earth surface. The understanding of turbulence distribution and its role in the surface water and ocean mixing is vital in studying ocean processes such as: heat flux across the ocean interface and momentum flux as well as gas transfer and biogeochemical processes. The scarcity of field data hinders turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate (TKED), temperature dissipation rate (TD) universal parametrization within the upper ocean boundary layer, especially very near the surface. In this project, I investigated how TKED, TD, and surface heat fluxes vary at the surface boundary layer based on laboratory and field experiment. I have conducted laboratory experiments in the Air–Sea Interaction Saltwater Tank (ASIST) at the University of Miami. We try to simply simulate the ocean when the horizontal heat and eddy fluxes play a prominent role in the ocean, like the front. In the field experiment, the data were collected during the LAgrangian Submesoscale ExpeRiment (LASER) in the northern part of the GOM during the winter of 2016. LASER was undertaken by CARTHE (Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbons in the Environment) as a large scale study of oceanic surface lagrangian transport and dispersion. The R/V Walton Smith was used during LASER as a main mobile oceanographic and atmospheric sensor platform. As a part of the experiment, we have documented the presence of a submesoscale front generated by the interaction of cold Mississippi river water with continental shelf water, which may be affected by the warm loop current generated in the GOM.