The Latitude-Frequency Structure of Pacific Sea Level Variance

Gary T. Mitchum TOGA Sea Level Center, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822

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Roger Lukas Department of Oceanography and Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822

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Abstract

We report an unprecedented description of the latitudinal structure of tropical Pacific Ocean sea level variability for time scales between 3 and 100 days. A plot of calculated sea level variance latitude and frequency is described and exposes a rich variety of phenomena. We find signals due to the fortnightly tide, equatorial waves, zonal current instabilities, and atmospheric forcing.

Abstract

We report an unprecedented description of the latitudinal structure of tropical Pacific Ocean sea level variability for time scales between 3 and 100 days. A plot of calculated sea level variance latitude and frequency is described and exposes a rich variety of phenomena. We find signals due to the fortnightly tide, equatorial waves, zonal current instabilities, and atmospheric forcing.

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