Energetics of the layer-thickness form drag based on an integral identity
Abstract. The vertical redistribution of the geostrophic momentum by the residual effects of pressure perturbations (called the layer-thickness form drag) is investigated using thickness-weighted temporal-averaged mean primitive equations for a continuously stratified fluid in an adiabatic formulation. A four-box energy diagram, in which the mean and eddy kinetic energies are defined by the thickness-weighted mean velocity and the deviation from it, respectively, shows that the layer-thickness form drag reduces the mean kinetic energy and endows the eddy field with an energy cascade. The energy equations are derived using an identity (called the "pile-up rule") between cumulative sums of the Eulerian mean quantity and the thickness-weighted mean quantity in each vertical column. The pile-up rule shows that the thickness-weighted mean velocity satisfies a no-normal-flow boundary condition at the top and bottom of the ocean, which enables the volume budget of pressure flux divergence in the energy diagram to be determined. With the pile-up rule, the total kinetic energy based on the Eulerian mean can be rewritten in a thickness-weighted form. The four-box energy diagram in the present study should be consistent with energy diagrams of layer models, the temporal-residual-mean theory, and Iwasaki's atmospheric theory. Under certain assumptions, the work of the layer-thickness form drag in the global ocean circulation is suggested to be comparable to the work done by the wind forcing.