Browse

You are looking at 61 - 70 of 8,096 items for :

  • Journal of Physical Oceanography x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All
Qingyang Song and Hidenori Aiki

Abstract

Intraseasonal waves in the tropical Atlantic Ocean have been found to carry prominent energy that affects interannual variability of zonal currents. This study investigates energy transfer and interaction of wind-driven intraseasonal waves using single-layer model experiments. Three sets of wind stress forcing at intraseasonal periods of around 30, 50, and 80 days with a realistic horizontal distribution are employed separately to excite the second baroclinic mode in the tropical Atlantic. A unified scheme for calculating the energy flux, previously approximated and used for the diagnosis of annual Kelvin and Rossby waves, is utilized in the present study in its original form for intraseasonal waves. Zonal velocity anomalies by Kelvin waves dominate the 80-day scenario. Meridional velocity anomalies by Yanai waves dominate the 30-day scenario. In the 50-day scenario, the two waves have comparable magnitudes. The horizontal distribution of wave energy flux is revealed. In the 30- and 50-day scenarios, a zonally alternating distribution of cross-equatorial wave energy flux is found. By checking an analytical solution excluding Kelvin waves, we confirm that the cross-equatorial flux is caused by the meridional transport of geopotential at the equator. This is attributed to the combination of Kelvin and Yanai waves and leads to the asymmetric distribution of wave energy in the central basin. Coastally trapped Kelvin waves along the African coast are identified by alongshore energy flux. In the north, the bend of the Guinea coast leads the flux back to the equatorial basin. In the south, the Kelvin waves strengthened by local wind transfer the energy from the equatorial to Angolan regions.

Restricted access
Luwei Yang, Maxim Nikurashin, Andrew McC. Hogg, and Bernadette M. Sloyan

Abstract

Lee waves play an important role in transferring energy from the geostrophic eddy field to turbulent mixing in the Southern Ocean. As such, lee waves can impact the Southern Ocean circulation and modulate its response to changing climate through their regulation on the eddy field and turbulent mixing. The drag effect of lee waves on the eddy field and the mixing effect of lee waves on the tracer field have been studied separately to show their importance. However, it remains unclear how the drag and mixing effects act together to modify the Southern Ocean circulation. In this study, a lee-wave parameterization that includes both lee-wave drag and its associated lee-wave-driven mixing is developed and implemented in an eddy-resolving idealized model of the Southern Ocean to simulate and quantify the impacts of lee waves on the Southern Ocean circulation. The results show that lee waves enhance the baroclinic transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and strengthen the lower overturning circulation. The impact of lee waves on the large-scale circulation are explained by the control of lee-wave drag on isopycnal slopes through their effect on eddies, and by the control of lee-wave-driven mixing on deep stratification and water mass transformation. The results also show that the drag and mixing effects are coupled such that they act to weaken one another. The implication is that the future parameterization of lee waves in global ocean and climate models should take both drag and mixing effects into consideration for a more accurate representation of their impact on the ocean circulation.

Restricted access
Free access
Luc Lenain and Nick Pizzo

Abstract

Internal waves are a regular feature of the open-ocean and coastal waters. As a train of internal waves propagates, their surface induced currents modulate the surface waves, generating a characteristic rough- and smooth-banded structure. While the surface expression of these internal waves is well known and has been observed from a variety of remote sensing instruments, direct quantitative observations of the directional properties of the surface gravity wave field modulated by an internal wave remain sparse. In this work, we report on a comprehensive field campaign conducted off the coast of Point Sal, California, in September 2017. Using a unique combination of airborne remote sensing observations, along with in situ surface and subsurface measurements, we investigate and quantify the interaction between surface gravity and internal wave processes. We find that surface waves are significantly modulated by the currents induced by the internal waves. Through novel observations of ocean topography, we characterize the rapid modification of the directional and spectral properties of surface waves over very short spatial scales [O(100) m or less]. Over a range of wavelengths (3–9-m waves), geometrical optics and wave action conservation predictions show good agreement with the observed wavenumber spectra in smooth and rough regions of the modulated surface waves. If a parameterization of wave action source terms is used, good agreement is found over a larger range of wavenumbers, down to 4 rad m−1. These results elucidate properties of surface waves interacting with a submesoscale ocean current and should provide insight into more general interactions between surface waves and the fine-scale structure of the upper ocean.

Open access
Ru Chen, James C. McWilliams, and Lionel Renault

Abstract

The California Undercurrent (CUC) transport, with significant variability ranging from weeks to decades, has consequences for both the climate and biogeochemistry of the California Current system. This study evaluates the governors of the CUC transport and its temporal variability from a momentum perspective, using a mesoscale-resolving regional model. From a 16-yr mean perspective, the along-isobath pressure gradient acts to accelerate the CUC, whereas eddy advection retards it. The topographic form stress, which is part of the volume integrated along-isobath pressure gradient, not only acts in the direction of the time-mean CUC, but also greatly modulates the temporal variability of the CUC transport. This temporal variability is also correlated with the eddy momentum advection. The eddy stress plays a role in transferring both the equatorward wind stress and poleward CUC momentum downward. A theory is formulated to show that, in addition to the conventional vertical redistribution of momentum, the eddy stress can also redistribute momentum horizontally in the area where the correlation between the pressure anomaly and isopycnal fluctuations has large spatial variability.

Restricted access
K. H. Brink

Abstract

A linear numerical model of an island or a tall seamount is used to explore superinertial leaky resonances forced by ambient vertically and horizontally uniform current fluctuations. The model assumes a circularly symmetric topography (including a shallow reef) and allows realistic stratification and bottom friction. As long as there is substantial stratification, a number of leaky resonances are found, and when the island’s flanks are narrow relative to the internal Rossby radius, some of the near-resonant modes resemble leaky internal Kelvin waves. Other “resonances” resemble higher radial mode long gravity waves as explored by Chambers. The near-resonances amplify the cross-reef velocities that help fuel biological activity. Results for cases with the central island replaced by a lagoon do not differ greatly from the island case which has land at the center. As an aside, insight is provided on the question of offshore boundary conditions for superinertial nearly trapped waves along a straight coast.

Restricted access
Zhi Li, Matthew H. England, Sjoerd Groeskamp, Ivana Cerovečki, and Yiyong Luo

Abstract

Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) forms in deep mixed layers just north of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in winter, playing a fundamental role in the ocean uptake of heat and carbon. Using a gridded Argo product and the ERA-Interim reanalysis for years 2004–18, the seasonal evolution of the SAMW volume is analyzed using both a kinematic estimate of the subduction rate and a thermodynamic estimate of the air–sea formation rate. The seasonal SAMW volume changes are separately estimated within the monthly mixed layer and in the interior below it. We find that the variability of SAMW volume is dominated by changes in SAMW volume in the mixed layer. The seasonal variability of SAMW volume in the mixed layer is governed by formation due to air–sea buoyancy fluxes (45%, lasting from July to August), entrainment (35%), and northward Ekman transport across the Subantarctic Front (10%). The interior SAMW formation is entirely controlled by exchanges between the mixed layer and the interior (i.e., instantaneous subduction), which occurs mainly during August–October. The annual mean subduction estimate from a Lagrangian approach shows strong regional variability with hotspots of large SAMW subduction. The SAMW subduction hotspots are consistent with the distribution and export pathways of SAMW over the central and eastern parts of the south Indian and Pacific Oceans. Hotspots in the south Indian Ocean produce strong subduction of 8 and 9 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) for the light and southeast Indian SAMW, respectively, while SAMW subduction of 6 and 4 Sv occurs for the central and southeast Pacific SAMW, respectively.

Restricted access
Hua Zheng, Xiao-Hua Zhu, Chuanzheng Zhang, Ruixiang Zhao, Ze-Nan Zhu, and Zhao-Jun Liu

Abstract

Topographic Rossby waves (TRWs) are oscillations generated on sloping topography when water columns travel across isobaths under potential vorticity conservation. From our large-scale observations from 2016 to 2019, near-65-day TRWs were first observed in the deep basin of the South China Sea (SCS). The TRWs propagated westward with a larger wavelength (235 km) and phase speed (3.6 km day−1) in the north of the array and a smaller wavelength (80 km) and phase speed (1.2 km day−1) toward the southwest of the array. The ray-tracing model was used to identify the energy source and propagation features of the TRWs. The paths of the near-65-day TRWs mainly followed the isobaths with a slightly downslope propagation. The possible energy source of the TRWs was the variance of surface eddies southwest of Taiwan. The near-65-day energy propagated from the southwest of Taiwan to the northeast and southwest of the array over ~100–120 and ~105 days, respectively, corresponding to a group velocity of 4.2–5.0 and 10.5 km day−1, respectively. This suggests that TRWs play an important role in deep-ocean dynamics and deep current variation, and upper-ocean variance may adjust the intraseasonal variability in the deep SCS.

Restricted access
Richard E. Thomson and Isaac V. Fine

Abstract

We use bottom pressure records from 59 sites of the global tsunami warning system to examine the nonisostatic response of the World Ocean to surface air pressure forcing within the 4–6-day band. It is within this narrow “5-day” band that sea level fluctuations strongly depart from the isostatic inverted barometer response. Numerical simulations of the observed bottom pressures were conducted using a two-dimensional Princeton Ocean Model forced at the upper boundary by two versions of the air pressure loading: (i) an analytical version having the form of the westward propagating, 5-day Rossby–Haurwitz air pressure mode; and (ii) an observational version based on a 16-yr record of global-scale atmospheric reanalysis data with a spatial resolution of 2.5°. Simulations from the two models—consisting of barotropic standing waves of millibar amplitudes and near uniform phases in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans—are in close agreement and closely reproduce the observed bottom pressures. The marked similarity of the outputs from the two models and the ability of both models to accurately reproduce the seafloor pressure records indicate a pronounced dynamic response of the World Ocean to nonstationary air pressure fields resembling the theoretical Rossby–Haurwitz air pressure mode.

Restricted access
Mingting Li, Huijie Xue, Jun Wei, Linlin Liang, Arnold L. Gordon, and Song Yang

Abstract

The role of the Mindoro Strait–Sibutu Passage pathway in influencing the Luzon Strait inflow to the South China Sea (SCS) and the SCS multilayer circulation is investigated with a high-resolution (0.1° × 0.1°) regional ocean model. Significant changes are evident in the SCS upper-layer circulation (250–900 m) by closing the Mindoro–Sibutu pathway in sensitivity experiments, as Luzon Strait transport is reduced by 75%, from −4.4 to −1.2 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). Because of the vertical coupling between the upper and middle layers, closing the Mindoro–Sibutu pathway also weakens clockwise circulation in the middle layer (900–2150 m), but there is no significant change in the deep layer (below 2150 m). The Mindoro–Sibutu pathway is an important branch of the SCS throughflow into the Indonesian Seas. It is also the gateway for oceanic waves propagating clockwise around the Philippines Archipelago from the western Pacific Ocean into the eastern SCS, projecting El Niño–Southern Oscillation sea level signals to the SCS, impacting its interannual variations and multilayer circulation. The results provide insights into the dynamics of how upstream and downstream passage throughflows are coupled to affect the general circulation in marginal seas.

Restricted access