Structure of the Baroclinic Tide Generated at Kaena Ridge, Hawaii

Jonathan D. Nash College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

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Eric Kunze School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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Craig M. Lee Applied Physics Laboratory and School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Thomas B. Sanford Applied Physics Laboratory and School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Abstract

Repeat transects of full-depth density and velocity are used to quantify generation and radiation of the semidiurnal internal tide from Kaena Ridge, Hawaii. A 20-km-long transect was sampled every 3 h using expendable current profilers and the absolute velocity profiler. Phase and amplitude of the baroclinic velocity, pressure, and vertical displacement were computed, as was the energy flux. Large barotropically induced isopycnal heaving and strong baroclinic energy-flux divergence are observed on the steep flanks of the ridge where upward and downward beams radiate off ridge. Directly above Kaena Ridge, strong kinetic energy density and weak net energy flux are argued to be a horizontally standing wave. The phasing of velocity and vertical displacements is consistent with this interpretation. Results compare favorably with the Merrifield and Holloway model.

Corresponding author address: Jonathan D. Nash, 104 COAS Admin Bldg. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Email: nash@coas.oregonstate.edu

Abstract

Repeat transects of full-depth density and velocity are used to quantify generation and radiation of the semidiurnal internal tide from Kaena Ridge, Hawaii. A 20-km-long transect was sampled every 3 h using expendable current profilers and the absolute velocity profiler. Phase and amplitude of the baroclinic velocity, pressure, and vertical displacement were computed, as was the energy flux. Large barotropically induced isopycnal heaving and strong baroclinic energy-flux divergence are observed on the steep flanks of the ridge where upward and downward beams radiate off ridge. Directly above Kaena Ridge, strong kinetic energy density and weak net energy flux are argued to be a horizontally standing wave. The phasing of velocity and vertical displacements is consistent with this interpretation. Results compare favorably with the Merrifield and Holloway model.

Corresponding author address: Jonathan D. Nash, 104 COAS Admin Bldg. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Email: nash@coas.oregonstate.edu

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