There is evidence of strong shear in much of the data, and we are interested in whether this shear is strong enough to initiate dynamical instabilities leading to vertical mixing to lead to higher vertical heat (and salt and nutrient) fluxes.  We use the Richardson number (Ri) calculated with ADCP and CTD data,  as a proxy for mixing.  It is basically a ratio of the Buoyancy Frequency to Shear^2. Formally, Ri<1/4 is the criterion for dynamic shear instability starting from an infinitesimal disturbance.  Ri values of 1 or less indicate the potential for instability (basically, wave-breaking) in a finite-amplitude disturbance such as one might get from high-frequency internal gravity waves. Because of ADCP resolution issues, any values less than 1 suggests that turbulence might also be possible through dynamic shear instability occurring on spatial scales smaller than the ADCP can resolve (~8 m).

Next we’ll show an example of applying this to one station.