The Baltic Sea Tracer Release Experiment. Part I: Mixing rates

Holtermann, P. L., Umlauf, L., Schmale, O., Rehder, G., Tanhua, Toste and Waniek, J. (2012) The Baltic Sea Tracer Release Experiment. Part I: Mixing rates Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 117 . C01021. DOI 10.1029/2011JC007439.

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In this study, results from the Baltic Sea Tracer Release Experiment (BATRE) are described, in which deep water mixing rates and mixing processes in the central Baltic Sea were investigated. In September 2007, an inert tracer gas (CF3SF5) was injected at approximately 200 m depth in the Gotland Basin, and the subsequent spreading of the tracer was observed during six surveys until February 2009. These data describe the diapycnal and lateral mixing during a stagnation period without any significant deep water renewal due to inflow events. As one of the main results, vertical mixing rates were found to dramatically increase after the tracer had reached the lateral boundaries of the basin, suggesting boundary mixing as the key process for basin-scale vertical mixing. Basin-scale vertical diffusivities were of the order of 10−5 m2 s−1 (about 1 order of magnitude larger than interior diffusivities) with evidence for a seasonal and vertical variability. In contrast to tracer experiments in the open ocean, the basin geometry (hypsography) was found to have a crucial impact on the vertical tracer spreading. The e-folding time scale for deep water renewal due to mixing was slightly less than 2 years, the time scale for the lateral homogenization of the tracer patch was of the order of a few months.
Key Points:
Mixing rates in the Gotland Basin are dominated by boundary mixing processes;
The time scale for Gotland Basin deep water renewal is approximately 2 years;
Mixing rates determined from the tracer CF3SF5

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Marine chemistry; Baltic Sea Tracer Release Experiment; BATRE; RV Poseidon; POS357/1; POS357/2; AL312; Alkor
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2011JC007439
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2011 10:26
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 08:47

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