ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0347.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Fluids & Plasmas Keywords: Submesoscale; Turbulence; Frontogenesis; Energy cascade; Mutual communication; Ocean density fronts
Online: 18 November 2022 (03:21:03 CET)
We present large eddy simulations of a mid-latitude open ocean front using a modified state of the art computational fluid dynamics code. We investigate the energy and information fluxes at the submesoscale/small-scale range in the absence of any atmospheric forcing. We find submesoscale conditions (Ro∼1, Ri∼1) near surface, within baroclinic structures related with partially imbalanced frontogenetic activity. Near surface, the simulations show a significant scale coupling on scales larger than ∼103(m). This is manifested as a strong direct energy cascade and intense mutual communication between scales, where the latter was evaluated using an estimator based on Mutual Information Theory. At scales smaller than ∼103(m) the results show near-zero energy flux, however, at this scale range, the estimator of mutual communication still shows values corresponding with a significant level of communication between them. This fact motivates to investigate the nature of the self-organized turbulent motion at this scale range with weak energetic coupling but where communication between scales is still significant and to inquire into the existence of synchronization or functional relationships between scales with emphasis on eventual underlying non-local processes.