A diagnosis of anisotropic eddy diffusion from a high-resolution global ocean model

Scott D Bachman1, Baylor Fox-Kemper2 and Frank Bryan1, (1)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate and Global Dynamics, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)Brown University, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Providence, RI, United States
Abstract:
Oceanic mesoscale eddies are known to diffuse and stir tracers, and the development of skillful eddy closures is aided considerably by the accurate diagnosis of these processes from eddy-resolving model statistics. Here we present results from a global mesoscale eddy-resolving simulation, in which a multiple-tracers inversion method is used to solve for the eddy transport tensor that describes the eddy diffusion (symmetric part) and stirring (antisymmetric part). Special emphasis is placed on diagnosing the anisotropy of the horizontal transport, which is described by the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the horizontal symmetric subtensor. Global diagnoses of these quantities, along with an examination of their vertical structures, are used to recommend an algorithm for extending the Gent and McWilliams and Redi parameterizations to include anisotropic effects.