Impact of Parameterized Internal Wave Drag on the Semidiurnal Energy Balance in a Global Ocean Circulation Model

Maarten C. Buijsman University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

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Joseph K. Ansong University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Brian K. Arbic University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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James G. Richman Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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Jay F. Shriver U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

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Patrick G. Timko ** Bangor University, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, United Kingdom

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Alan J. Wallcraft U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

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Caitlin B. Whalen Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California

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ZhongXiang Zhao Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Abstract

The effects of a parameterized linear internal wave drag on the semidiurnal barotropic and baroclinic energetics of a realistically forced, three-dimensional global ocean model are analyzed. Although the main purpose of the parameterization is to improve the surface tides, it also influences the internal tides. The relatively coarse resolution of the model of ~8 km only permits the generation and propagation of the first three vertical modes. Hence, this wave drag parameterization represents the energy conversion to and the subsequent breaking of the unresolved high modes. The total tidal energy input and the spatial distribution of the barotropic energy loss agree with the Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon (TPXO) tidal inversion model. The wave drag overestimates the high-mode conversion at ocean ridges as measured against regional high-resolution models. The wave drag also damps the low-mode internal tides as they propagate away from their generation sites. Hence, it can be considered a scattering parameterization, causing more than 50% of the deep-water dissipation of the internal tides. In the near field, most of the baroclinic dissipation is attributed to viscous and numerical dissipation. The far-field decay of the simulated internal tides is in agreement with satellite altimetry and falls within the broad range of Argo-inferred dissipation rates. In the simulation, about 12% of the semidiurnal internal tide energy generated in deep water reaches the continental margins.

The Naval Research Laboratory Contribution Number NRL/JA/7320-15-2606.

Corresponding author address: Maarten C. Buijsman, Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi, 1020 Balch Blvd., Stennis Space Center, MS 39529. E-mail: maarten.buijsman@usm.edu

Abstract

The effects of a parameterized linear internal wave drag on the semidiurnal barotropic and baroclinic energetics of a realistically forced, three-dimensional global ocean model are analyzed. Although the main purpose of the parameterization is to improve the surface tides, it also influences the internal tides. The relatively coarse resolution of the model of ~8 km only permits the generation and propagation of the first three vertical modes. Hence, this wave drag parameterization represents the energy conversion to and the subsequent breaking of the unresolved high modes. The total tidal energy input and the spatial distribution of the barotropic energy loss agree with the Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon (TPXO) tidal inversion model. The wave drag overestimates the high-mode conversion at ocean ridges as measured against regional high-resolution models. The wave drag also damps the low-mode internal tides as they propagate away from their generation sites. Hence, it can be considered a scattering parameterization, causing more than 50% of the deep-water dissipation of the internal tides. In the near field, most of the baroclinic dissipation is attributed to viscous and numerical dissipation. The far-field decay of the simulated internal tides is in agreement with satellite altimetry and falls within the broad range of Argo-inferred dissipation rates. In the simulation, about 12% of the semidiurnal internal tide energy generated in deep water reaches the continental margins.

The Naval Research Laboratory Contribution Number NRL/JA/7320-15-2606.

Corresponding author address: Maarten C. Buijsman, Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi, 1020 Balch Blvd., Stennis Space Center, MS 39529. E-mail: maarten.buijsman@usm.edu
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