Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole MA 02543
During the August 1997 Coastal Mixing and Optics (CMO) dye-injection diffusion experiments the dye-sampling towsled (Photo 1) (Photo 2) (Photo 3) (Chris, Tim, Towsled, Notebook, Socket Wrench, Rough Seas Photo) was fitted with an SBE-7 microscale conductivity probe from Seabird Electronics. This enabled measurement of conductivity gradients at spatial scales near the diffusive cutoff scale for thermal microstructure (the Batchelor scale). From these measurements the rate of rate of dissipation of thermal microstructure can be estimated, after properly accounting for salinity gradient contribution to the signals.
The thermal variance dissipation rate is closely related to turbulent buoyancy flux in stratified water. This flux, caused by vertical movement of heat or salt, alters the density structure and associated forces, and is therefore integral to the circulation. The flux rate is usually assumed to roughly follows Fick's law, with the flux magnitude (of heat, salt whatever) given by an ``eddy diffusivity coeffecient'' K times the gradient (of heat, salt, whatever); e.g. salt flux < w' S' >= -K dSo/dz, where w' is perturbation vertical velocity, and S' is salinity perturbation and dSo/dz is the gradient of the mean field.
Large K would weaken the stratification, cause in
large part by the summer sun heating the surface water, and
small K would leave it unchanged.
In August 2004 the N-dependent K results of the JGR paper cited above
were tested with a more comprehensive repeat study in the same area. 30 to 40 times
more ueable data were collected than on the previous trip thanks to improvements
to our system and to increased sampling time.
In August 2004 the N-dependent K results of the JGR paper cited above were tested with a more comprehensive repeat study in the same area. 30 to 40 times more ueable data were collected than on the previous trip thanks to improvements to our system and to increased sampling time.
Technical details: The probe assembly, differential amplifiers
and anti-aliasing filter were powered from their own 3-W power supply.
The signal was routed carefully to a commercial 16-bit A/D board in our
PC/104 tow-sled computer assembly. The A/D operated in differential (8-channel)
mode. The dynamic range of the system accepting the SBE 7 signals was measured
to be 90.7 dB. The range was reduced to 77.4 db with the probe in air (zero
conductivity gradient(?), 2.7 mv rms signal). This gives a minimum measurable
dissipation of 7x10-12 K2/s in conditions of uniform
salinity. Sampling rate was 400 Hz, giving 100 cpm resolution at 4 knots
tow speed. The signal from the A/D was fed into the towsled PC/104 system
for immediate transmission to the ship
System Block Diagram).
The dye sampling towsled looks at home in the water!
The emergency release float provides buoyancy for trim,
counter balancing the tail. The tail provides flow stability at the nose,
limiting attack angle fluctuations induced by ship heave and pitch, transmitted
by the cable.
For mode comprehensive results please refer to the two journal publications cited above.