Near-Inertial Waves Reaching the Deep Basin in the South China Sea after Typhoon Mangkhut (2018)

Hua Zheng aInstitute of Polar and Ocean Technology, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China
bState Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China
dSchool of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

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Xiao-Hua Zhu bState Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China
cSouthern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China
dSchool of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

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Ruixiang Zhao bState Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China

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Juntian Chen bState Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China

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Min Wang bState Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China
dSchool of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

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Qiang Ren eKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
fCenter for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China

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Yansong Liu eKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
fCenter for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
gPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Feng Nan eKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
fCenter for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
gPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Fei Yu eKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
fCenter for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
gPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Jae-Hun Park hDepartment of Ocean Sciences, Inha University, Incheon, South Korea

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Abstract

Typhoon Mangkhut crossed the northeastern South China Sea (SCS) in September 2018 and induced energetic near-inertial waves (NIWs) that were captured by an array of 39 current- and pressure-recording inverted echo sounders and two tall moorings with acoustic Doppler current profilers and current meter sensors. The array extended from west of the Luzon Strait to the interior SCS, with the path of the typhoon cutting through the array. NIWs in the interior SCS had lower frequency than those near the Luzon Strait. After the typhoon crossed the SCS, Mangkhut-induced near-inertial currents in the upper ocean reached over 50 cm s−1. NIWs traveled southward for hundreds of kilometers, dominated by modes 2 and 3 in the upper and deep ocean. The horizontal phase speeds of mode 2 were ∼3.9 and ∼2.5 m s−1 north and south of the typhoon’s track, respectively, while those of mode 3 were ∼2.1 and ∼1.7 m s−1, respectively. Mode 5 was only identified in the north with a smaller phase speed. Owing to different vertical group velocities, the energy of mode-2 NIWs reached the deep ocean in 20 days, whereas the higher-mode NIWs required more time to transfer energy to the bottom. NIWs in the north were trapped and carried by a westward-propagating anticyclonic eddy, which enhanced the near-inertial kinetic energy at ∼300 m and lengthened the duration of energetic NIWs observed in the north.

Significance Statement

Near-inertial waves (NIWs), generally caused by wind (e.g., typhoons and monsoons) in the upper ocean, are one of the two types of energetic internal waves widely observed in the ocean. After their generation near the surface, energetic NIWs propagate downward and equatorward, thereby significantly contributing to turbulent mixing in the upper and deep ocean and acting as a mechanism of energy transfer from the surface to the deep ocean. The unprecedented NIW observations in the South China Sea describe the generation, propagation, and vertical normal modes of typhoon-induced NIWs in the upper and deep oceans, and contribute to knowledge regarding the dynamic responses of abyssal processes to typhoons.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the defaut AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao-Hua Zhu, xhzhu@sio.org.cn

Abstract

Typhoon Mangkhut crossed the northeastern South China Sea (SCS) in September 2018 and induced energetic near-inertial waves (NIWs) that were captured by an array of 39 current- and pressure-recording inverted echo sounders and two tall moorings with acoustic Doppler current profilers and current meter sensors. The array extended from west of the Luzon Strait to the interior SCS, with the path of the typhoon cutting through the array. NIWs in the interior SCS had lower frequency than those near the Luzon Strait. After the typhoon crossed the SCS, Mangkhut-induced near-inertial currents in the upper ocean reached over 50 cm s−1. NIWs traveled southward for hundreds of kilometers, dominated by modes 2 and 3 in the upper and deep ocean. The horizontal phase speeds of mode 2 were ∼3.9 and ∼2.5 m s−1 north and south of the typhoon’s track, respectively, while those of mode 3 were ∼2.1 and ∼1.7 m s−1, respectively. Mode 5 was only identified in the north with a smaller phase speed. Owing to different vertical group velocities, the energy of mode-2 NIWs reached the deep ocean in 20 days, whereas the higher-mode NIWs required more time to transfer energy to the bottom. NIWs in the north were trapped and carried by a westward-propagating anticyclonic eddy, which enhanced the near-inertial kinetic energy at ∼300 m and lengthened the duration of energetic NIWs observed in the north.

Significance Statement

Near-inertial waves (NIWs), generally caused by wind (e.g., typhoons and monsoons) in the upper ocean, are one of the two types of energetic internal waves widely observed in the ocean. After their generation near the surface, energetic NIWs propagate downward and equatorward, thereby significantly contributing to turbulent mixing in the upper and deep ocean and acting as a mechanism of energy transfer from the surface to the deep ocean. The unprecedented NIW observations in the South China Sea describe the generation, propagation, and vertical normal modes of typhoon-induced NIWs in the upper and deep oceans, and contribute to knowledge regarding the dynamic responses of abyssal processes to typhoons.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the defaut AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao-Hua Zhu, xhzhu@sio.org.cn
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