Parameterization of quasigeostrophic eddies in primitive equation ocean models

A. M. Treguier, I. M. Held, V. D. Larichev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


A parameterization of mesoscale eddy fluxes in the ocean should be consistent with the fact that the ocean interior is nearly adiabatic. Gent and McWilliams have described a framework in which this can be approximated in z-coordinate primitive equation models by incorporating the effects of eddies on the buoyancy field through an eddy-induced velocity. It is also natural to base a parameterization on the simple picture of the mixing of potential vorticity in the interior and the mixing of buoyancy at the surface. The authors discuss the various constraints imposed by these two requirements and attempt to clarify the appropriate boundary conditions on the eddy-induced velocities at the surface. Quasigeostrophic theory is used as a guide to the simplest way of satisfying these constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-580
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography


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