Vertical structure in the pelagic

Over periods of days of strong heating and/or weak winds, during which convective energy is insufficient to bring about complete overnight mixing, there will develop a residual density difference between the surface mixed layer and the water beneath it, leading to the formation of a more enduring density gradient, or thermo-cline. Its resistance to mixing is acquired during preceding buoyancy phases. This resistance is expressed by the (dimensionless) bulk Richardson number, Rib, expressing the ratio between the two sets of forces:

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