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Title: Turbulence and Thermal Structure in the Upper Ocean: Turbulence-Resolving Simulations
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Flow, Turbulence and Combustion
Page Range / eLocation ID:
985 to 1009
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract Zank et al. developed models describing the transport of low-frequency incompressible and nearly incompressible turbulence in inhomogeneous flows. The formalism was based on expressing the fluctuating variables in terms of the Elsässar variables and then taking “moments” subject to various closure hypotheses. The turbulence transport models are different according to whether the plasma beta regime is large, of order unity, or small. Here, we show explicitly that the three sets of turbulence transport models admit a conservation representation that resembles the well-known WKB transport equation for Alfvén wave energy density after introducing appropriate definitions of the “pressure” associated with the turbulent fluctuations. This includes introducing a distinct turbulent pressure tensor for 3D incompressible turbulence (the large plasma beta limit) and pressure tensors for quasi-2D and slab turbulence (the plasma beta order-unity or small regimes) that generalize the form of the WKB pressure tensor. Various limits of the different turbulent pressure tensors are discussed. However, the analogy between the conservation form of the turbulence transport models and the WKB model is not close for multiple reasons, including that the turbulence models express fully nonlinear physical processes unlike the strictly linear WKB description. The analysis presented here both serves as a check on the validity and correctness of the turbulence transport models and also provides greater transparency of the energy dissipation term and the “turbulent pressure” in our models, which is important for many practical applications. 
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