Three-Dimensional Flow in the Upper Ocean

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Science  29 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4694, pp. 1552-1556
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4694.1552


Measurements made from the Research Platform FLIP provide some of the first direct observations of three-dimensional flow within the surface mixed layer of the ocean. Relatively narrow regions of downwelling flow were found within the mixed layer, in coincidence with bands of convergent surface flow. At mid-depth in the mixed layer, the downwelling flow had magnitudes of up to 0.2 meter per second and was accompanied by a downwind, horizontal jet of comparable magnitude. There is some evidence that these motions transport heat and phytoplankton within the mixed layer.