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On the Body-Force Term in Internal-Tide Generation

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  • 1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • | 2 Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Texel, Netherlands
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Abstract

The generation of internal tides can be ascribed to the action of a buoyancy force caused by the flow of the barotropic tide over topographic features. It is commonly assumed that the barotropic flow can be taken as hydrostatic, but it is shown here that this leads to a linearized governing equation for the baroclinic tide that is only valid if the baroclinic tide is also hydrostatic. A governing equation for the baroclinic tide, valid for any situation, is derived here and is shown to be exactly equivalent to a simple transformation of the governing equation for the combined barotropic and baroclinic tides.

Corresponding author address: Chris Garrett, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada. Email: cgarrett@uvic.ca

Abstract

The generation of internal tides can be ascribed to the action of a buoyancy force caused by the flow of the barotropic tide over topographic features. It is commonly assumed that the barotropic flow can be taken as hydrostatic, but it is shown here that this leads to a linearized governing equation for the baroclinic tide that is only valid if the baroclinic tide is also hydrostatic. A governing equation for the baroclinic tide, valid for any situation, is derived here and is shown to be exactly equivalent to a simple transformation of the governing equation for the combined barotropic and baroclinic tides.

Corresponding author address: Chris Garrett, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada. Email: cgarrett@uvic.ca

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