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Langmuir circulation and instability

Teixeira, M. A.C. ORCID: (2019) Langmuir circulation and instability. In: Cochran, J. K. (ed.) Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Elsevier, pp. 92-106. ISBN 978024095489

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.04176-2


Langmuir circulations are a powerful mechanism of vertical mixing in natural bodies of water, driven by wind and waves. They are important in establishing the mixed layer and pycnocline of the oceanic boundary layer. They affect the atmosphere-ocean exchange of momentum, heat and gases, as well as, indirectly, the global ocean circulation and climate. The generation mechanism of Langmuir circulations is an instability caused by interaction between the Stokes drift transport of surface waves and the wind-induced current, but Langmuir circulations may also be viewed as a distinct form of turbulence, named Langmuir turbulence. These two perspectives are outlined here.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:78278
Uncontrolled Keywords:Air–water interface; Atmosphere-ocean exchange; Dispersion of pollutants; Instabilities; Langmuir circulation; Langmuir turbulence; Mixing; Numerical modeling; Oceanic boundary layer; Parameterization; Pycnocline; Stokes drift; Surface mixed layer; Surface water waves; Wave-current interactions

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