We have studied cross isopycnal (diapycnal) and lateral mixing and stirring below the sill of Santa Monica Basin by releasing two tracers, sulfur hexafluoride and perfluorodecalin, as close as possible to an isopycnal surface and measuring their subsequent dispersion. The target for the release was a potential temperature surface at about 790 m depth, roughly 100 m above the bottom and 50 m below the sill. Three surveys, performed immediately after, about 7 weeks after, and about 6 months after the release, showed that the time scales for lateral stirring and mixing in the basin were between 2 and 5 months. The diapycnal diffusivity for the whole period was found to be 0.29 +/- 0.06cm2/s near the injection surface, where the buoyancy frequency was about 1.1 cph. This estimate may include some mixing in the turbulent boundary layer near the walls of the basin. Our best estimate for the diapycnal diffusivity in the basin interior is 0.25 +/- 0.08 cm2/s.
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