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This paper discusses a numerical closure, motivated from the ideas of Smagorinsky, for use with a biharmonic operator. The result is a highly scale-selective, state-dependent friction operator for use in eddy-permitting geophysical fluid models. This friction should prove most useful for large-scale ocean models in which there are multiple regimes of geostrophic turbulence. Examples are provided from primitive equation geopotential and isopycnal-coordinate ocean models.doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2000)128<2935:bfwasl>2.0.co;2 fatcat:ova4aovkabhkxgc2lry53cxq34