EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Energy flux quantification in the oceanic internal wavefield

Giovanni Dematteis1, Kurt Polzin2, and Yuri Lvov1
Giovanni Dematteis et al.
  • 1Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Mathematical Sciences, United States of America (
  • 2Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States of America

The rate of diapycnal mixing, largely due to internal-wave breaking, is a key ingredient to understanding upwelling and horizontal circulation in the ocean. Here, we show a first-principles quantification of the downscale energy flux in the internal wavefield, that ultimately feeds the wave-breaking, shear-instability energy sink responsible for mixing. The approach is based on the wave kinetic equation that describes the inter-scale energy transfers via 3-wave nonlinear resonant interactions. Our results compare favorably with the phenomenological ‘Finescale Parameterization’ formula, by which deep ocean mixing is commonly implemented in the global models, and provide novel insights in the complex problem of oceanic energy transfers.

How to cite: Dematteis, G., Polzin, K., and Lvov, Y.: Energy flux quantification in the oceanic internal wavefield, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-698,, 2022.

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