Similarity relationships in the unstable aquatic surface layer Academic Article uri icon


  • Turbulence mixing in aquatic surface layers controls the exchange of energy, momentum, heat, and mass between the atmosphere and the water beneath it. In many instances, due to a lack of suitable observations, scaling laws from atmospheric surface layers over land have been "borrowed" to model turbulence in oceans and lakes. However, it is unclear to what extent, and under what forcing conditions, atmospheric scaling laws are valid in aquatic surface layers. Here we present unique observations of the vertical structure of two key turbulence parameters, the dissipation of turbulence kinetic energy and the dissipation of temperature fluctuations, when the aquatic surface layer was forced by a combination of wind stirring and heat loss to the atmosphere. The good agreement found with scaling laws in atmospheric surface layers, under similar forcing and stability conditions, provides new evidence linking the structure of turbulence in aquatic and atmospheric surface layers. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Anis, A.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Anis, A

publication date

  • October 2006