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Jonathan D. Nash, Eric Kunze, John M. Toole, and Ray W. Schmitt

Abstract

Observations of turbulence, internal waves, and subinertial flow were made over a steep, corrugated continental slope off Virginia during May–June 1998. At semidiurnal frequencies, a convergence of low-mode, onshore energy flux is approximately balanced by a divergence of high-wavenumber offshore energy flux. This conversion occurs in a region where the continental slope is nearly critical with respect to the semidiurnal tide. It is suggested that elevated near-bottom mixing (K ρ ∼ 10−3 m2 s−1) observed offshore of the supercritical continental slope arises from the reflection of a remotely generated, low-mode, M 2 internal tide. Based on the observed turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ϵ, the high-wavenumber internal tide decays on time scales O(1 day). No evidence for internal lee wave generation by flow over the slope's corrugations or internal tide generation at the shelf break was found at this site.

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Worth D. Nowlin Jr., Neville Smith, George Needler, Peter K. Taylor, Robert Weller, Ray Schmitt, Liliane Merlivat, Alain Vézina, Arthur Alexiou, Michael McPhaden, and Massaaki Wakatsuchi

Designs and implementation are proceeding for a Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and a Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). The initial design for the ocean component of the GCOS, which is also the climate module of the GOOS, was completed in 1995 by the Ocean Observing System Development Panel (OOSDP). This design for an ocean observing system for climate aims to provide ocean observations leading to gridded products, analyses, forecasts, indexes, assessments, and other items needed to detect, monitor, understand, and predict climate variations and change. A summary of the OOSDP report is presented here, beginning with the rationale for such a system and the series of specific goals and subgoals used to focus the design. The instruments, platforms, transmission systems, or processing required to observe the climate variables or quantifiable aspects of the climate system to meet these subgoals are identified. These observing system elements are divided into three categories: 1) elements of existing operational systems, 2) those that should be added now to complete the initial observing system, or 3) elements perhaps not now readily attainable but that should be added to the system at the earliest feasible time. Future research and development likely needed for further development of the system are also identified in the report. The elements needed for each subgoal are ranked as to feasibility (i.e., routine, systematic, timely, and cost-effective characteristics) versus their impact on attaining the subgoal. Priorities among the various subgoals are presented based on the panel's perception of where the immediate and important issues lie. This then provides the basis for an incremental approach to implementation, leading to a coherent conceptual design.

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