### Abstract

Kolmogorov’s 1941 theory describes a turbulent flow as one featuring a cascade of characteristic scales and obeying the law of finite dissipation. Most flows having the first property also have the second. But this is by no means a necessary implication. Horizontal convection is a type of buoyancy driven flow that does not obey to the law of finite dissipation (thus is not turbulent in the sense of Kolmogorov) but appears to have most other properties of a turbulent flow. This, and a number of other connected results, have profound implications on the viability of horizontal convection as a convincing metaphor for the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation: thermal (or thermohaline) forcing alone cannot reproduce most of the essential features of the observed ocean circulation. Recent research shows that only by taking into account the buoyancy forcing and several sources of mechanical mixing in a rotating reference frame a satisfactory depiction of the ocean circulation arises.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 15-32 |

Number of pages | 18 |

Journal | Springer INdAM Series |

Volume | 15 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 1 2016 |

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### Keywords

- Energy dissipation
- Horizontal convection
- Kolmogorov’s 1941 theory
- Meridional overturning circulation
- Turbulence

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Mathematics(all)

### Cite this

**Turbulence, horizontal convection, and the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation.** / Paparella, Francesco.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Turbulence, horizontal convection, and the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation

AU - Paparella, Francesco

PY - 2016/1/1

Y1 - 2016/1/1

N2 - Kolmogorov’s 1941 theory describes a turbulent flow as one featuring a cascade of characteristic scales and obeying the law of finite dissipation. Most flows having the first property also have the second. But this is by no means a necessary implication. Horizontal convection is a type of buoyancy driven flow that does not obey to the law of finite dissipation (thus is not turbulent in the sense of Kolmogorov) but appears to have most other properties of a turbulent flow. This, and a number of other connected results, have profound implications on the viability of horizontal convection as a convincing metaphor for the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation: thermal (or thermohaline) forcing alone cannot reproduce most of the essential features of the observed ocean circulation. Recent research shows that only by taking into account the buoyancy forcing and several sources of mechanical mixing in a rotating reference frame a satisfactory depiction of the ocean circulation arises.

AB - Kolmogorov’s 1941 theory describes a turbulent flow as one featuring a cascade of characteristic scales and obeying the law of finite dissipation. Most flows having the first property also have the second. But this is by no means a necessary implication. Horizontal convection is a type of buoyancy driven flow that does not obey to the law of finite dissipation (thus is not turbulent in the sense of Kolmogorov) but appears to have most other properties of a turbulent flow. This, and a number of other connected results, have profound implications on the viability of horizontal convection as a convincing metaphor for the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation: thermal (or thermohaline) forcing alone cannot reproduce most of the essential features of the observed ocean circulation. Recent research shows that only by taking into account the buoyancy forcing and several sources of mechanical mixing in a rotating reference frame a satisfactory depiction of the ocean circulation arises.

KW - Energy dissipation

KW - Horizontal convection

KW - Kolmogorov’s 1941 theory

KW - Meridional overturning circulation

KW - Turbulence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85028766456&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85028766456&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/978-3-319-39092-5_2

DO - 10.1007/978-3-319-39092-5_2

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 15

EP - 32

JO - Springer INdAM Series

JF - Springer INdAM Series

SN - 2281-518X

ER -