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Zimeng Li
and
Hidenori Aiki

Abstract

The present study adopts an energy-based approach to interpret the negative phase of Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) events. This is accomplished by diagnosing the output of hindcast experiments from 1958 to 2018 based on a linear ocean model. The authors have performed a composite analysis for a set of negative IOD (nIOD) events, distinguishing between independent nIOD events and concurrent nIOD events with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The focus is on investigating the mechanism of nIOD events in terms of wave energy transfer, employing a linear wave theory that considers the group velocity. The proposed diagnostic scheme offers a unified framework for studying the interaction between equatorial and off-equatorial waves. Both the first and third baroclinic modes exhibit interannual variations characterized by a distinct packet of eastward energy flux associated with equatorial Kelvin waves. During October–December, westerly wind anomalies induce the propagation of eastward-moving equatorial waves, leading to thermocline deepening in the central-eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, a feature absent during neutral IOD years. The development of wave energy demonstrates different patterns during nIOD events of various types. In concurrent nIOD–ENSO years, characterized by strong westerly winds, the intense eastward transfer of wave energy becomes prominent as early as October. This differs significantly from the situation manifested in independent nIOD years. The intensity of the energy-flux streamfunction/potential reaches its peak around November and then rapidly diminishes in December during both types of nIOD years.

Significance Statement

The present study provides an interpretation of wave energy transfer episodes in the upper ocean during the negative phase of the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) based on the diagnosis of hindcast experiments. The results suggest that the reflection of Kelvin and Rossby waves at the eastern and western boundaries of the Indian Ocean (IO), respectively, accompanied by variations in thermocline depth, plays a crucial role in the development process of IOD events. Specifically, during the negative phase of the IOD, the tropical IO exhibits positive signals of energy-flux streamfunction in the Northern Hemisphere, along with positive signals of energy-flux potential associated with westerly wind anomalies occurring in October–December. These findings highlight the significance of these factors in shaping the characteristics of negative IOD events.

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Zimeng Li
and
Hidenori Aiki

Abstract

The present study investigates the interannual variability of the tropical Indian Ocean (IO) based on the transfer routes of wave energy in a set of 61-yr hindcast experiments using a linear ocean model. To understand the basic feature of the IO dipole mode, this paper focuses on the 1994 pure positive event. Two sets of westward transfer episodes in the energy flux associated with Rossby waves (RWs) are identified along the equator during 1994. One set represents the same phase speed as the linear theory of equatorial RWs, while the other set is slightly slower than the theoretical phase speed. The first set originates from the reflection of equatorial Kelvin waves at the eastern boundary of the IO. On the other hand, the second set is found to be associated with off-equatorial RWs generated by southeasterly winds in the southeastern IO, which may account for the appearance of the slower group velocity. A combined empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of energy-flux streamfunction and potential reveals the intense westward signals of energy flux are attributed to off-equatorial RWs associated with predominant wind input in the southeastern IO corresponding to the positive IO dipole event.

Significance Statement

The present study gains a new insight into the mechanism of the Indian Ocean dipole events using a new diagnostic scheme for wave energy based on 61-yr hindcast experiments. The results have shown the existence of two sets of westward transfer of wave energy at the equator during 1994. One set of westward signals shows the same group velocity with theoretical equatorial Rossby waves that appear reasonably along the equator. The other set of westward signals at the equator represents a slightly slower group velocity than the theoretical equatorial Rossby waves, which is associated with abnormally extended southeasterly winds during the Indian Ocean dipole event.

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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.

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Tivon Jacobson
and
Hidenori Aiki

Abstract

A time residual mean (TRM) energy is obtained by averaging a transformation of the energy of the Boussinesq hydrostatic incompressible equations of motion. The transformation is the fundamental TRM transformation between level Cartesian coordinates and coordinates that are the mean positions of density surfaces. The TRM energy consists of a sum of mean kinetic, mean potential, wave kinetic, and wave potential energies. It is shown that the interaction between the mean kinetic energy and mean potential energy can be expressed entirely in terms of mean fields. The wave forcing of the mean TRM momentum equations is expressed as a divergence. An explicit and exact form of the TRM equations, with the transformed pressure term expressed in terms of the mean and wave fields, is also noted. It is suggested that the mean domain for the TRM equations and the Cartesian domain may not be the same, which would have consequences for the TRM boundary conditions.

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Hidenori Aiki
and
Kelvin J. Richards

Abstract

Understanding the role of mesoscale eddies in the global ocean is fundamental to gaining insight into the factors that control the strength of the circulation. This paper presents results of an analysis of a high-resolution numerical simulation. In particular, the authors perform an analysis of energetics in density space. Such an approach clearly demonstrates the role of layer-thickness form drag (residual effects of hydrostatic pressure perturbations), which is hidden in the classical analysis of the energetics of flows. For the first time in oceanic studies, the global distribution of layer-thickness form drag is determined. This study provides direct evidence to verify some basic characteristics of layer-thickness form drag that have often been assumed or speculated about in previous theoretical studies. The results justify most of the previous assumptions and speculations, including those associated with (i) the presence of an oceanic energy cycle explaining the relationship between layer-thickness form drag and wind forcing, (ii) the manner in which layer-thickness form drag removes the energy of vertically sheared geostrophic currents, and (iii) the reason why the work of layer-thickness form drag nearly balances the work of eddy-induced overturning circulation in each vertical column. However, the result of the analysis disagrees with speculation in previous studies that the layer-thickness form drag in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is the agent that transfers the wind-induced momentum near the sea surface downward to the bottom layers. The authors present a new interpretation: the layer-thickness form drag reduces (and thereby cancels) the vertical shear resulting from the eddy-induced overturning circulation (rather than the vertical shear resulting from the surface wind stress). This interpretation is consistent with the results of the energy analysis conducted in this study.

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Hidenori Aiki
and
Richard J. Greatbatch

Abstract

There is an ongoing discussion in the community concerning the wave-averaged momentum equations in the hybrid vertically Lagrangian and horizontally Eulerian (VL) framework and, in particular, the form stress term (representing the residual effect of pressure perturbations) that is thought to restrict the handling of higher-order waves in terms of a perturbation expansion. The present study shows that the traditional pressure-based form stress term can be transformed into a set of terms that do not contain any pressure quantities but do contain the time derivative of a wave-induced velocity. This wave-induced velocity is referred to as the pseudomomentum in the VL framework, as it is analogous to the generalized pseudomomentum in Andrews and McIntyre. This enables the second expression for the wave-averaged momentum equations in the VL framework (this time for the development of the total transport velocity minus the VL pseudomomentum) to be derived together with the vortex force. The velocity-based expression of the form stress term also contains the residual effect of the turbulent viscosity, which is useful for understanding the dissipation of wave energy leading to a transfer of momentum from waves to circulation. It is found that the concept of the virtual wave stress of Longuet-Higgins is applicable to quite general situations: it does not matter whether there is wind forcing or not, the waves can have slow variations, and the viscosity coefficient can vary in the vertical. These results provide a basis for revisiting the surface boundary condition used in numerical circulation models.

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Hidenori Aiki
and
Richard J. Greatbatch

Abstract

The residual effect of surface gravity waves on mean flows in the upper ocean is investigated using thickness-weighted mean (TWM) theory applied in a vertically Lagrangian and horizontally Eulerian coordinate system. Depth-dependent equations for the conservation of volume, momentum, and energy are derived. These equations allow for (i) finite amplitude fluid motions, (ii) the horizontal divergence of currents, and (iii) a concise treatment of both kinematic and viscous boundary conditions at the sea surface. Under the assumptions of steady and monochromatic waves and a uniform turbulent viscosity, the TWM momentum equations are used to illustrate the pressure- and viscosity-induced momentum fluxes through the surface, which are implicit in previous studies of the wave-induced modification of the classical Ekman spiral problem. The TWM approach clarifies, in particular, the surface momentum flux associated with the so-called virtual wave stress of Longuet-Higgins. Overall, the TWM framework can be regarded as an alternative to the three-dimensional Lagrangian mean framework of Pierson. Moreover, the TWM framework can be used to include the residual effect of surface waves in large-scale circulation models. In specific models that carry the TWM velocity appropriate for advecting tracers as their velocity variable, the turbulent viscosity term should be modified so that the viscosity acts only on the Eulerian mean velocity.

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Hidenori Aiki
and
Richard J. Greatbatch

Abstract

Previous attempts to derive the depth-dependent expression of the radiation stress have led to a debate concerning (i) the applicability of the Mellor approach to a sloping bottom, (ii) the introduction of the delta function at the mean sea surface in the later papers by Mellor, and (iii) a wave-induced pressure term derived in several recent studies. The authors use an equation system in vertically Lagrangian and horizontally Eulerian (VL) coordinates suitable for a concise treatment of the surface boundary and obtain an expression for the depth-dependent radiation stress that is consistent with the vertically integrated expression given by Longuet–Higgins and Stewart. Concerning (i)–(iii) above, the difficulty of handling a sloping bottom disappears when wave-averaged momentum equations in the VL coordinates are written for the development of (not the Lagrangian mean velocity but) the Eulerian mean velocity. There is also no delta function at the sea surface in the expression for the depth-dependent radiation stress. The connection between the wave-induced pressure term in the recent studies and the depth-dependent radiation stress term is easily shown by rewriting the pressure-based form stress term in the thickness-weighted-mean momentum equations as a velocity-based term that contains the time derivative of the pseudomomentum in the VL framework.

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Hidenori Aiki
,
Koutarou Takaya
, and
Richard J. Greatbatch

Abstract

Classical theory concerning the Eliassen–Palm relation is extended in this study to allow for a unified treatment of midlatitude inertia–gravity waves (MIGWs), midlatitude Rossby waves (MRWs), and equatorial waves (EQWs). A conservation equation for what the authors call the impulse-bolus (IB) pseudomomentum is useful, because it is applicable to ageostrophic waves, and the associated three-dimensional flux is parallel to the direction of the group velocity of MRWs. The equation has previously been derived in an isentropic coordinate system or a shallow-water model. The authors make an explicit comparison of prognostic equations for the IB pseudomomentum vector and the classical energy-based (CE) pseudomomentum vector, assuming inviscid linear waves in a sufficiently weak mean flow, to provide a basis for the former quantity to be used in an Eulerian time-mean (EM) framework. The authors investigate what makes the three-dimensional fluxes in the IB and CE pseudomomentum equations look in different directions. It is found that the two fluxes are linked by a gauge transformation, previously unmentioned, associated with a divergence-form wave-induced pressure . The quantity vanishes for MIGWs and becomes nonzero for MRWs and EQWs, and it may be estimated using the virial theorem. Concerning the effect of waves on the mean flow, represents an additional effect in the pressure gradient term of both (the three-dimensional versions of) the transformed EM momentum equations and the merged form of the EM momentum equations, the latter of which is associated with the nonacceleration theorem.

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Fabrice Ardhuin
,
Nobuhiro Suzuki
,
James C. McWilliams
, and
Hidenori Aiki

Abstract

Several equivalent equations for the evolution of the wave-averaged current momentum have been proposed, implemented, and used. In contrast, the equation for the total momentum, which is the sum of the current and wave momenta, has not been widely used because it requires a less practical wave forcing. In an update on previous derivations, Mellor proposed a new formulation of the wave forcing for the total momentum equation. Here, the authors show that this derivation misses a leading-order term that has a zero depth-integrated value. Corrected for this omission, the wave forcing is equivalent to that in the first paper by Mellor. When this wave forcing effect on the currents is approximated it leads to an inconsistency. This study finally repeats and clarifies that the vertical integration of several various forms of the current-only momentum equations are consistent with the known depth-integrated equations for the mean flow momentum obtained by subtracting the wave momentum equation from the total momentum equation. Several other claims in prior Mellor manuscripts are discussed.

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