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Publication Date
28 December 2023

A New Hybrid Mass‐Flux/High‐Order Turbulence Closure for Ocean Vertical Mixing



While various parameterizations of vertical turbulent fluxes at different levels of complexity have been proposed, each has its own limitations. For example, simple first‐order closure schemes such as the K‐Profile Parameterization (KPP) lack energetic constraints; two‐equation models like directly solve an equation for the turbulent kinetic energy but do not account for non‐diffusive fluxes, and high‐order closures that include the high‐order transport terms are computationally expensive. To address these, we extend the Assumed‐Distribution Higher‐Order Closure (ADC) framework originally proposed for the atmospheric boundary layer and apply it to the ocean surface boundary layer. By assuming a probability distribution function relationship between the vertical velocity and tracers, all second‐order and higher‐order moments are exactly constructed and turbulence closure is achieved in the ADC scheme. In addition, this ADC parameterization has full energetic constraints and includes non‐diffusive fluxes without the computational cost of a full higher‐order closure scheme. We have tested the ADC scheme against a combination of large eddy simulation (LES), KPP, and for surface buoyancy‐driven convective mixing and found that the ADC scheme is robust with different vertical resolutions and compares well to the LES results.

Garanaik, Amrapalli, Filipe S. Pereira, Katherine Smith, Rachel Robey, Qing Li, Brodie Pearson, and Luke Van Roekel. 2023. “A New Hybrid Mass‐Flux/High‐Order Turbulence Closure For Ocean Vertical Mixing”. Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems 16 (1). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2023ms003846.
Funding Program Area(s)
Additional Resources:
NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)