Energetics of the Beamed Zombie Turbulence Maser Action Mechanism for Remote Detection of Submerged Oceanic Turbulence


1 1Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92122-0411, USA

2 Aerocosmos Scientific Center of Aerospace Monitoring, Moscow, Russia

3 Directed Technologies, Inc., Arlington, VA

4 Department of Oceanography, Physical Section, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA


Sea surface brightness spectral anomalies from a Honolulu municipal outfall have been detected from space satellites in 200 km2 areas extending 20 km from the wastewater diffuser (Leung and Gibson 2004, Bondur 2005, Keeler et al. 2005, Gibson et al. 2006). Dropsonde and towed body microstructure measurements show greatly enhanced viscous and temperature dissipation rates above the outfall trapping-layer. Fossil-turbulencewaves (FTWs) and secondary zombie-turbulence-waves (ZTWs) break as they propagate near-vertically and then break again near the surface to produce wind-ripple smoothing with narrow-wavelength λ patterns from the soliton-like internal waves that supply turbulence energy to advected outfall fossils and to the ZTWs they radiate. The λ = 30-250 m solitons reflect an efficient maser-action conversion of horizontal tidal and current kinetic energy by bottom boundary layer turbulence events to near-vertical FTWs with λ the Ozmidov scale of the events at fossilization. Secondary (zombie) turbulence amplifies, channels in chimneys, and near-vertically beams ambient internal wave energy at scales λ just as energized metastable molecules amplify and beam quantum wavelengths in astrophysical lasers and masers around stars. Kilowatts of buoyancy power from the treatment plant produce fossil turbulence patches trapped below the thermocline. Beamed zombie turbulence maser action (BZTMA) in mixing chimneys amplifies these kilowatts into the megawatts of surface turbulence dissipation required to affect brightness on wide sea surface areas. The BZTMA vertical mixing mechanism appears critical to vertical oceanic transport of information, heat, mass and momentum, and to the conversion of barotropic tides to baroclinic tides.