TRR 181 Seminar "Diapycnal diffusivity induced by the breaking of lee waves"

The TRR 181 seminar is held every other week in the semester and as announced during semester break. The locations of the seminar changes between the three TRR181 locations, but is broadcastet online for all members of the TRR.

The TRR 181 seminar is held byThomas Eriksen(Universität Hamburg, PhD in W4) on January 16, 11 am at Universität Hamburg, room 22/23, ground floor, Bundesstr. 53.


A key component in setting the large scale ocean circulation is the process of diapycnal mixing, since this can drive the meridional overturning circulation. Diapycnal mixing in the interior ocean is predominantly associated with the breaking of internal waves. 

Traditionally diapycnal mixing has been represented in ocean models by a diapycnal diffusivity either constant or exponentially decreasing with depth. This approach, however, does not take into account the actual physics behind the breaking of internal waves. The energetically consistent internal wave model IDEMIX (Internal wave Dissipation, Energetics and MIXing), on the other hand, computes diffusivities directly on the basis of internal wave energetics. One such type of internal wave are lee waves. These are generated and subsequently dissipated when geostrophic currents interact with bottom topography and are therefore believed to be a source of energy for deep ocean mixing. In my study lee waves are implemented in IDEMIX in order to investigate their importance for energy transfer in the ocean.