The terms of the steady-state turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget in the oceanic convective boundary layer (CBL) are estimated by use of microstructure data obtained over the continental shelf of the East China Sea. The dissipation term is calculated from the micro-scale vertical shear of horizontal velocity measured directly using a freely-falling microstructure profiler, whereas the buoyancy flux and shear production terms are estimated indirectly by integrating vertically the one-dimensional conservation equation of density and by applying similarity theory, respectively. The transport term, calculated as the residual of the other three terms, vertically redistributes the TKE from the upper half of the CBL to the lower half, consistent with the TKE budgets in the atmospheric CBL and in shear-free and slightly-sheared CBLs simulated by large eddy-simulation models. The relatively large contribution of the transport term to the TKE budget shows that a local equilibrium form of the TKE equation is not appropriate for the TKE budget in the oceanic CBL.
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