Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2016

Abstract

The Stokes drift of surface waves significantly modifies the upper-ocean turbulence because of the Craik–Leibovich vortex force (Langmuir turbulence). Under tropical cyclones the contribution of the surface waves varies significantly depending on complex wind and wave conditions. Therefore, turbulence closure models used in ocean models need to explicitly include the sea state–dependent impacts of the Langmuir turbulence. In this study, the K-profile parameterization (KPP) first-moment turbulence closure model is modified to include the explicit Langmuir turbulence effect, and its performance is tested against equivalent large-eddy simulation (LES) experiments under tropical cyclone conditions. First, the KPP model is retuned to reproduce LES results without Langmuir turbulence to eliminate implicit Langmuir turbulence effects included in the standard KPP model. Next, the Lagrangian currents are used in place of the Eulerian currents in the KPP equations that calculate the bulk Richardson number and the vertical turbulent momentum flux. Finally, an enhancement to the turbulent mixing is introduced as a function of the nondimensional turbulent Langmuir number. The retuned KPP, with the Lagrangian currents replacing the Eulerian currents and the turbulent mixing enhanced, significantly improves prediction of upper-ocean temperature and currents compared to the standard (unmodified) KPP model under tropical cyclones and shows improvements over the standard KPP at constant moderate winds (10 m s−1).

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