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From Tides to Mixing Along the Hawaiian Ridge

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Science  18 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5631, pp. 355-357
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085837

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Abstract

The cascade from tides to turbulence has been hypothesized to serve as a major energy pathway for ocean mixing. We investigated this cascade along the Hawaiian Ridge using observations and numerical models. A divergence of internal tidal energy flux observed at the ridge agrees with the predictions of internal tide models. Large internal tidal waves with peak-to-peak amplitudes of up to 300 meters occur on the ridge. Internal-wave energy is enhanced, and turbulent dissipation in the region near the ridge is 10 times larger than open-ocean values. Given these major elements in the tides-to-turbulence cascade, an energy budget approaches closure.

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