Publication Abstracts

Hall et al. 2007

Hall, T.M., T.W.N. Haine, M. Holzer, D.A. LeBel, F. Terenzi, and D.W. Waugh, 2007: Ventilation rates estimated from tracers in the presence of mixing. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 37, 2599-2611, doi:10.1175/2006JPO3471.1.

We analyze the intimate relationship among ventilation, transit-time distributions, and transient tracer budgets. To characterize the advective-diffusive transport from the mixed layer to the interior ocean in terms of flux we employ a cumulative ventilation-rate distribution, Φ(τ), defined as the one-way mass flux from the mixed layer to the permanently stratified ocean of fluid elements that reside at least time τ in the domain before returning. A one-way flux contrasts with the more commonly estimated net flux, often called subduction or formation rate, which does not accommodate the effects of mixing. As τ decreases Φ(τ) increases, encompassing progressively more one-way flux. For advective-diffusive flows in the continuum fluid limit Φ(0) = ∞. The total one-way flux is not, therefore, a useful diagnostic of material exchange. Generally, Φ is a rapidly varying function of τ, and there is no single residence time at which Φ can be evaluated to fully summarize the advective-diffusive flux. We use Φ(τ) to reconcile discrepancies between estimates of formation rates in a recent GCM study. We then use CFC data to bound Φ(τ) for Subtropical Mode Water and Labrador Sea Water in the North Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we show that the neglect of diffusive mixing in previous estimates of formation rates leads to spurious behavior, such as apparent time dependence in the formation, even when transport is steady.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Hall, T. M. and Haine, T. W. N. and Holzer, M. and LeBel, D. A. and Terenzi, F. and Waugh, D. W.},
  title={Ventilation rates estimated from tracers in the presence of mixing},
  journal={J. Phys. Oceanogr.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ha02310d
AU  - Hall, T. M.
AU  - Haine, T. W. N.
AU  - Holzer, M.
AU  - LeBel, D. A.
AU  - Terenzi, F.
AU  - Waugh, D. W.
PY  - 2007
TI  - Ventilation rates estimated from tracers in the presence of mixing
JA  - J. Phys. Oceanogr.
VL  - 37
SP  - 2599
EP  - 2611
DO  - 10.1175/2006JPO3471.1
ER  -

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