Large eddy simulations of mixed layer instabilities and sampling strategies

Tamay M. Özgökmen, Andrew C. Poje, Paul F. Fischer, Angelique C. Haza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recognizing the potential role played by submesoscale processes in both the energy cascade in the ocean and biogeochemical transport, we conduct a series of large eddy simulations of isolated mixed layer instabilities. The primary objective is to generate freely evolving velocity and density fields representative of submesoscale flows and then use these to examine potential observational sampling strategies. Mixed layer instabilities are explored in two parameter regimes: a strongly-stratified regime which results in a system with surface-intensified eddies and high vertical shear, and a weakly-stratified regime exhibiting weaker, smaller scale eddies that penetrate across the entire domain depth as Taylor columns. Analysis of a variety of mixing measures derived from both particle and tracer based sampling strategies indicates the differing importance of vertical processes in the two flow regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-331
Number of pages21
JournalOcean Modelling
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Lagrangian sampling
  • Submesoscale
  • Tracers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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