Open Access Repository

Energy loss from transient eddies due to lee wave generation in the Southern Ocean


Downloads per month over past year

Yang, L, Nikurashin, M ORCID: 0000-0002-5714-8343, Hogg, AM and Sloyan, BM 2018 , 'Energy loss from transient eddies due to lee wave generation in the Southern Ocean' , Journal of Physical Oceanography, vol. 48, no. 12 , pp. 2867-2885 , doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-18-0077.1.

129621 - Energy...pdf | Download (3MB)

| Preview


Observations suggest that enhanced turbulent dissipation and mixing over rough topography are modulated by the transient eddy field through the generation and breaking of lee waves in the Southern Ocean. Idealized simulations also suggest that lee waves are important in the energy pathway from eddies to turbulence. However, the energy loss from eddies due to lee wave generation remains poorly estimated. This study quantifies the relative energy loss from the time-mean and transient eddy flow in the Southern Ocean due to lee wave generation using an eddy-resolving global ocean model and three independent topographic datasets. The authors find that the energy loss from the transient eddy flow (0.12 TW; 1 TW = 1012 W) is larger than that from the time-mean flow (0.04 TW) due to lee wave generation; lee wave generation makes a larger contribution (0.12 TW) to the energy loss from the transient eddy flow than the dissipation in turbulent bottom boundary layer (0.05 TW). This study also shows that the energy loss from the time-mean flow is regulated by the transient eddy flow, and energy loss from the transient eddy flow is sensitive to the representation of anisotropy in small-scale topography. It is implied that lee waves should be parameterized in eddy-resolving global ocean models to improve the energetics of resolved flow.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Yang, L and Nikurashin, M and Hogg, AM and Sloyan, BM
Keywords: lee waves, ocean mixing, mesoscale eddies, parameterization, ocean models, Southern Ocean, Eddies, internal waves, topographic effects, diagnostics, general circulation models
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Physical Oceanography
Publisher: Amer Meteorological Soc
ISSN: 0022-3670
DOI / ID Number: 10.1175/JPO-D-18-0077.1
Copyright Information:

© Copyright 2018 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. All AMS journals and monograph publications are registered with the Copyright Clearance Center ( Questions about permission to use materials for which AMS holds the copyright can also be directed to Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement, available on the AMS website (

Related URLs:
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page