Revisiting oceanic acoustic gravity surface waves

TitleRevisiting oceanic acoustic gravity surface waves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSmith JA
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Date Published2015/12
ISBN Number0022-3670

AbstractThe reintroduction of compressibility into the equations for surface gravity waves can permit mixed acoustic?gravity modes that are periodic in the vertical as well as horizontal directions. These modes interact with the bottom even in deep water, so bottom motion can excite them. Because they propagate rapidly, it has been suggested they may be useful as precursors of tsunamis. Here the equations are revisited, and, using some robust approximations, some physical understanding and interpretation of the phenomena are presented. It is posed that these new modes can alternatively be thought of as acoustic modes slightly modified by a gravity wave boundary condition at the surface, rather than as surface waves dramatically modified by compressibility. Their potential use is not diminished; indeed, this alternative perspective should help make implementation more practical.

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