The Global S1 Tide

Richard D. Ray Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Gary D. Egbert College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

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Abstract

The small S1 ocean tide is caused primarily by diurnal atmospheric pressure loading. Its excitation is therefore unlike any other diurnal tide; in particular, pressure loading is maximum near the equator where the diurnal gravitational potential is zero. The global character of the S1 tide is here determined by numerical modeling and by analysis of Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon satellite altimeter data. The two approaches yield reasonably consistent results. Amplitudes exceeding 1 cm in several regions are further confirmed by comparison with coastal tide gauges. Notwithstanding their excitation differences, S1 and other diurnal tides are found to share several common features, such as relatively large amplitudes in the Arabian Sea, the Labrador Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Gulf of Alaska. The most noticeable difference is the lack of an S1 Antarctic Kelvin wave. These similarities and differences can be explained in terms of the coherences between near-diurnal oceanic normal modes and the underlying tidal forcings. Whereas gravitational diurnal tidal forces excite primarily a 28-h Antarctic–Pacific mode, the S1 air tide excites several other near-diurnal modes, none of which has large amplitudes near Antarctica.

Corresponding author address: Richard D. Ray, NASA/GSFC, Code 926, Greenbelt, MD 20771. Email: richard.ray@gsfc.nasa.gov

Abstract

The small S1 ocean tide is caused primarily by diurnal atmospheric pressure loading. Its excitation is therefore unlike any other diurnal tide; in particular, pressure loading is maximum near the equator where the diurnal gravitational potential is zero. The global character of the S1 tide is here determined by numerical modeling and by analysis of Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon satellite altimeter data. The two approaches yield reasonably consistent results. Amplitudes exceeding 1 cm in several regions are further confirmed by comparison with coastal tide gauges. Notwithstanding their excitation differences, S1 and other diurnal tides are found to share several common features, such as relatively large amplitudes in the Arabian Sea, the Labrador Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Gulf of Alaska. The most noticeable difference is the lack of an S1 Antarctic Kelvin wave. These similarities and differences can be explained in terms of the coherences between near-diurnal oceanic normal modes and the underlying tidal forcings. Whereas gravitational diurnal tidal forces excite primarily a 28-h Antarctic–Pacific mode, the S1 air tide excites several other near-diurnal modes, none of which has large amplitudes near Antarctica.

Corresponding author address: Richard D. Ray, NASA/GSFC, Code 926, Greenbelt, MD 20771. Email: richard.ray@gsfc.nasa.gov

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