The energetics of two numerical models of the ocean circulation are studied by use of available potential energy. Available potential energy, calculated by an approximation equation using a temperature perturbation field, compares favorably with that obtained using the exact expression using a height perturbation field. A general circulation model of the ocean is employed to study large-scale energy transformations, and a mid-ocean dynamics experiment (mesoscale) model is employed to study transformations of energy by stationary features and by transient motions. Results from the general circulation model are consistent with those of Haney (197^-). Results from the mesoscale model indicate that the transformation of energy is from available potential energy to kinetic energy of the transient eddy field.
Naval Postgraduate School
M.S. in Meteorology
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.