Quantifying spatial distribution of spurious mixing in ocean models

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical mixing is inevitable for ocean models due to tracer advection schemes. Until now, there is no robust way to identify the regions of spurious mixing in ocean models. We propose a new method to compute the spatial distribution of the spurious diapycnic mixing in an ocean model. This new method is an extension of available potential energy density method proposed by Winters and Barkan (2013). We test the new method in lock-exchange and baroclinic eddies test cases. We can quantify the amount and the location of numerical mixing. We find high-shear areas are the main regions which are susceptible to numerical truncation errors. We also test the new method to quantify the numerical mixing in different horizontal momentum closures. We conclude that Smagorinsky viscosity has less numerical mixing than the Leith viscosity using the same non-dimensional constant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalOcean Modelling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s)


M. Ilicak is supported by the SKD BASIC, NFR ICONIC projects and Ice2Ice project that has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no 610055.

FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme610055
European Research Council


    • Leith viscosity
    • Lock-exchange
    • Reference potential energy
    • Spurious diapycnic mixing


    Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying spatial distribution of spurious mixing in ocean models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this