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Whalen, CB, MacKinnon JA, Talley LD, Waterhouse AF.  2015.  Estimating the mean diapycnal mixing using a finescale strain parameterization. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 45:1174-1188.   10.1175/jpo-d-14-0167.1   AbstractWebsite

Finescale methods are currently being applied to estimate the mean turbulent dissipation rate and diffusivity on regional and global scales. This study evaluates finescale estimates derived from isopycnal strain by comparing them with average microstructure profiles from six diverse environments including the equator, above ridges, near seamounts, and in strong currents. The finescale strain estimates are derived from at least 10 nearby Argo profiles (generally <60 km distant) with no temporal restrictions, including measurements separated by seasons or decades. The absence of temporal limits is reasonable in these cases, since the authors find the dissipation rate is steady over seasonal time scales at the latitudes being considered (0 degrees-30 degrees and 40 degrees-50 degrees). In contrast, a seasonal cycle of a factor of 2-5 in the upper 1000m is found under storm tracks (30 degrees-40 degrees) in both hemispheres. Agreement between the mean dissipation rate calculated using Argo profiles and mean from microstructure profiles is within a factor of 2-3 for 96% of the comparisons. This is both congruous with the physical scaling underlying the finescale parameterization and indicates that the method is effective for estimating the regional mean dissipation rates in the open ocean.

Whalen, CB, MacKinnon JA, Talley LD.  2018.  Large-scale impacts of the mesoscale environment on mixing from wind-driven internal waves. Nature Geoscience. 11:842-+.   10.1038/s41561-018-0213-6   AbstractWebsite

Oceanic mesoscale structures such as eddies and fronts can alter the propagation, breaking and subsequent turbulent mixing of wind-generated internal waves. However, it has been difficult to ascertain whether these processes affect the global-scale patterns, timing and magnitude of turbulent mixing, thereby powering the global oceanic overturning circulation and driving the transport of heat and dissolved gases. Here we present global evidence demonstrating that mesoscale features can significantly enhance turbulent mixing due to wind-generated internal waves. Using internal wave-driven mixing estimates calculated from Argo profiling floats between 30 degrees and 45 degrees N, we find that both the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of turbulent mixing and the response to increases in the wind energy flux are larger to a depth of at least 2,000 m in the presence of a strong and temporally uniform field of mesoscale eddy kinetic energy. Mixing is especially strong within energetic anticyclonic mesoscale features compared to cyclonic features, indicating that local modification of wind-driven internal waves is probably one mechanism contributing to the elevated mixing observed in energetic mesoscale environments.

Roemmich, D, Alford MH, Claustre H, Johnson K, King B, Moum J, Oke P, Owens WB, Pouliquen S, Purkey S, Scanderbeg M, Suga T, Wijffels S, Zilberman N, Bakker D, Baringer M, Belbeoch M, Bittig HC, Boss E, Calil P, Carse F, Carval T, Chai F, Conchubhair DO, D'Ortenzio F, Dall'Olmo G, Desbruyeres D, Fennel K, Fer I, Ferrari R, Forget G, Freeland H, Fujiki T, Gehlen M, Greenan B, Hallberg R, Hibiya T, Hosoda S, Jayne S, Jochum M, Johnson GC, Kang K, Kolodziejczyk N, Kortzinger A, Le Traon PY, Lenn YD, Maze G, Mork KA, Morris T, Nagai T, Nash J, Garabato AN, Olsen A, Pattabhi RR, Prakash S, Riser S, Schmechtig C, Schmid C, Shroyer E, Sterl A, Sutton P, Talley L, Tanhua T, Thierry V, Thomalla S, Toole J, Troisi A, Trull TW, Turton J, Velez-Belchi PJ, Walczowski W, Wang HL, Wanninkhof R, Waterhouse AF, Waterman S, Watson A, Wilson C, Wong APS, Xu JP, Yasuda I.  2019.  On the future of Argo: A global, full-depth, multi-disciplinary array. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6   10.3389/fmars.2019.00439   AbstractWebsite

The Argo Program has been implemented and sustained for almost two decades, as a global array of about 4000 profiling floats. Argo provides continuous observations of ocean temperature and salinity versus pressure, from the sea surface to 2000 dbar. The successful installation of the Argo array and its innovative data management system arose opportunistically from the combination of great scientific need and technological innovation. Through the data system, Argo provides fundamental physical observations with broad societally-valuable applications, built on the cost-efficient and robust technologies of autonomous profiling floats. Following recent advances in platform and sensor technologies, even greater opportunity exists now than 20 years ago to (i) improve Argo's global coverage and value beyond the original design, (ii) extend Argo to span the full ocean depth, (iii) add biogeochemical sensors for improved understanding of oceanic cycles of carbon, nutrients, and ecosystems, and (iv) consider experimental sensors that might be included in the future, for example to document the spatial and temporal patterns of ocean mixing. For Core Argo and each of these enhancements, the past, present, and future progression along a path from experimental deployments to regional pilot arrays to global implementation is described. The objective is to create a fully global, top-to-bottom, dynamically complete, and multidisciplinary Argo Program that will integrate seamlessly with satellite and with other in situ elements of the Global Ocean Observing System (Legler et al., 2015). The integrated system will deliver operational reanalysis and forecasting capability, and assessment of the state and variability of the climate system with respect to physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystems parameters. It will enable basic research of unprecedented breadth and magnitude, and a wealth of ocean-education and outreach opportunities.