Mixing in the surface boundary layer of a tropical freshwater reservoir Academic Article uri icon


  • A combined observational-modeling study was conducted to investigate turbulence mixing, and the relation to surface forcing, in the surface boundary layer (SBL) of a tropical, high-altitude, freshwater reservoir. A suite of vertical profiles of temperature microstructure, collected at three different stations of one-day duration each, provided estimates of dissipation rates of turbulence kinetic energy, {lunate}, and temperature variance, . Numerical simulations of {lunate} and , using state-of-the-art, public domain, two-equation turbulence closure models, compared favorably with the observations and reproduced the dynamics of daytime wind mixing as well as the vertical and temporal turbulence structure during nighttime convective conditions. Two independent estimates of vertical eddy diffusivities in the stably stratified (daytime) SBL, computed from the microstructure measurements, agreed closely, and the near surface heat and buoyancy fluxes, computed from the diffusivities, were similar to those computed independently from surface meteorology. Model generated eddy diffusivities agreed closely with the observed values, except those generated by K profile parameterization (KPP) model simulations. The good agreement provides confidence that nutrient fluxes in the SBL may be accurately computed from the models when forced with regularly measured surface meteorological parameters. The consequences are important for estimation of daily primary productivity rates in the euphotic zone and the ability to predict algal blooms such as those observed in the present reservoir. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Marine Systems

author list (cited authors)

  • Anis, A., & Singhal, G.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Anis, A||Singhal, G

publication date

  • December 2006