By providing cold, dense water that sinks and mixes to fill the abyssal world ocean, high-latitude air-sea-ice interaction is the main conduit through which the deep ocean communicates with the rest of the climate system. A key element in modeling and predicting oceanic impact on climate is understanding the processes that control the near surface exchange of heat, salt, and momentum. In 1992, the United States-Russian Ice Station Weddell-1 traversed the western Weddell Sea during the onset of winter, providing a platform for direct measurement of turbulent heat flux and Reynolds stress in the upper ocean. Data from a storm early in the drift indicated (i) well-formed Ekman spirals (in both velocity and turbulent stress); (ii) high correlation between mixed layer heat flux and temperature gradients; (iii) that eddy viscosity and eddy thermal diffusivity were similar, about 0.02 square meters per second; and (iv) that the significant turbulent length scale (2 to 3 meters through most of the boundary layer) was proportional to the wavelength at the peak in the weighted vertical velocity spectrum. The measurements were consistent with a simple model in which the bulk eddy viscosity in the neutrally buoyant mixed layer is proportional to kinematic boundary stress divided by the Coriolis parameter.
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