The Viscous Sublayer at the Sea Floor

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Science  14 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4411, pp. 1131-1132
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4411.1131


A 0.6-centimeter-thick sublayer was found in horizontal flow profiles obtained by traversing a heated thermistor from 19 centimeters above to 2 centimeters below the water-sediment interface in 200-meter-deep water on the Oregon continental shelf. In this sublayer the speed of the current varies linearly with distance above the sediment. Estimates of viscous stress from this sublayer and turbulent stress from the profile agree within 5 percent. Stress calculated from a current-meter spectrum agrees within its 95 percent confidence limits.