Observations of the internal tide on the California continental margin near Monterey Bay

TitleObservations of the internal tide on the California continental margin near Monterey Bay
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsTerker S.R, Girton J.B, Kunze E., Klymak J.M, Pinkel R
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Date Published2014/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0278-4343
Accession NumberWOS:000337858200006
KeywordsBaroclinic tide; Coastally-trapped; deep-ocean; energetics; Energy flux; energy fluxes; Expendable current profilers; generation; hawaiian ridge; model; propagation; spatial variability; submarine-canyon; topex/poseidon altimeter data; waves

Observations of the semidiurnal internal tide on the California continental margin between Monterey Bay and Point Sur confirm the existence of northward energy flux predicted by numerical models of the region. Both a short-duration tide-resolving survey with expendable profilers and a multi-week timeseries from FLIP measured northward flux in the mean, supporting the hypothesis that topographic features off Point Sur are the source of the strong internal tides observed in Monterey Canyon. However, the observed depth-integrated semidiurnal flux of 450 +/- 200 W m(-1) is approximately twice as large as the most directly-comparable model and FLIP results. Though dominated by low modes with O(100 km) horizontal wavelengths, a number of properties of the semidiurnal internal tide, including kinetic and potential energy, as well as energy flux, show lateral variability on O(5 km) scales. Potential causes of this spatial variability include interference of waves from multiple sources, the sharp delineation of beams generated by abrupt topography due to limited azimuthal extent, and local generation and scattering of the internal tide into higher modes by small-scale topography. A simple two-source model of a first-mode interference pattern reproduces some of the most striking aspects of the observations. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Short TitleCont Shelf Res
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