|Sensitive temperature probes detail different turbulence processes in the deep mediterranean|In: Oceanography. Oceanography Society: Washington DC. ISSN 1042-8275, meer
In addition to large-scale water flows and eddies, small-scale turbulent mixing distributes heat, water masses, and suspended matter in the deep sea. In contrast to turbulent mixing near the sea surface, which is driven by wind and waves and redistributes solar heat input, large-scale mixing in the deep sea occurs near steep underwater topography such as ridges, seamounts, and continental slopes. For example, above the continental slope in the Western Mediterranean Sea, boundary flows, (sub-)mesoscale eddies, and internal waves dominate water motions. In this area, wintertime dense-water formation, breaking of internal waves, and geothermal heating are associated with turbulent mixing. As a result, vertical stable density stratification is very weak. Detailed observations of turbulent mixing in the deep sea are rare and demand high-resolution instrumentation. This paper provides an overview of various types of deep Mediterranean turbulence observed using high-resolution temperature sensors, including weak turbulence resulting from stable internal waves in late summer and autumn, strong turbulence caused by geothermal heating from below in winter, and moderate turbulence induced by stratified waters pressing down from above during dense-water formation in late winter and spring.