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This paper discusses spurious diapycnal mixing associated with the transport of density in a z-coordinate ocean model. A general method, based on the work of Winters and collaborators, is employed for empirically diagnosing an effective diapycnal diffusivity corresponding to any numerical transport process. This method is then used to quantify the spurious mixing engendered by various numerical representations of advection. Both coarse and fine resolution examples are provided that illustratedoi:10.1175/1520-0493(2000)128<0538:sdmawa>2.0.co;2 fatcat:cggpcgkdbbclzer2yyeqqybwmq