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M. A. Merrifield, S. T. Merrifield, and G. T. Mitchum

Abstract

Tide gauge data are used to estimate trends in global sea level for the period from 1955 to 2007. Linear trends over 15-yr segments are computed for each tide gauge record, averaged over latitude bands, and combined to form an area-weighted global mean trend. The uncertainty of the global trend is specified as a sampling error plus a random vertical land motion component, but land motion corrections do not change the results. The average global sea level trend for the time segments centered on 1962–90 is 1.5 ± 0.5 mm yr−1 (standard error), in agreement with previous estimates of late twentieth-century sea level rise. After 1990, the global trend increases to the most recent rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm yr−1, matching estimates obtained from satellite altimetry. The acceleration is distinct from decadal variations in global sea level that have been reported in previous studies. Increased rates in the tropical and southern oceans primarily account for the acceleration. The timing of the global acceleration corresponds to similar sea level trend changes associated with upper ocean heat content and ice melt.

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N. V. Zilberman, M. A. Merrifield, G. S. Carter, D. S. Luther, M. D. Levine, and T. J. Boyd

Abstract

Moored current, temperature, and conductivity measurements are used to study the temporal variability of M 2 internal tide generation above the Kaena Ridge, between the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai. The energy conversion from the barotropic to baroclinic tide measured near the ridge crest varies by a factor of 2 over the 6-month mooring deployment (0.5–1.1 W m−2). The energy flux measured just off the ridge undergoes a similar modulation as the ridge conversion. The energy conversion varies largely because of changes in the phase of the perturbation pressure, suggesting variable work done on remotely generated internal tides. During the mooring deployment, low-frequency current and stratification fluctuations occur on and off the ridge. Model simulations suggest that these variations are due to two mesoscale eddies that passed through the region. The impact of these eddies on low-mode internal tide propagation over the ridge crest is considered. It appears that eddy-related changes in stratification and perhaps cross-ridge current speed contribute to the observed phase variations in perturbation pressure and hence the variable conversion over the ridge.

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Luc Rainville, T. M. Shaun Johnston, Glenn S. Carter, Mark A. Merrifield, Robert Pinkel, Peter F. Worcester, and Brian D. Dushaw

Abstract

Most of the M 2 internal tide energy generated at the Hawaiian Ridge radiates away in modes 1 and 2, but direct observation of these propagating waves is complicated by the complexity of the bathymetry at the generation region and by the presence of interference patterns. Observations from satellite altimetry, a tomographic array, and the R/P FLIP taken during the Farfield Program of the Hawaiian Ocean Mixing Experiment (HOME) are found to be in good agreement with the output of a high-resolution primitive equation model, simulating the generation and propagation of internal tides. The model shows that different modes are generated with different amplitudes along complex topography. Multiple sources produce internal tides that sum constructively and destructively as they propagate. The major generation sites can be identified using a simplified 2D idealized knife-edge ridge model. Four line sources located on the Hawaiian Ridge reproduce the interference pattern of sea surface height and energy flux density fields from the numerical model for modes 1 and 2. Waves from multiple sources and their interference pattern have to be taken into account to correctly interpret in situ observations and satellite altimetry.

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G. S. Carter, M. A. Merrifield, J. M. Becker, K. Katsumata, M. C. Gregg, D. S. Luther, M. D. Levine, T. J. Boyd, and Y. L. Firing

Abstract

A high-resolution primitive equation model simulation is used to form an energy budget for the principal semidiurnal tide (M 2) over a region of the Hawaiian Ridge from Niihau to Maui. This region includes the Kaena Ridge, one of the three main internal tide generation sites along the Hawaiian Ridge and the main study site of the Hawaii Ocean Mixing Experiment. The 0.01°–horizontal resolution simulation has a high level of skill when compared to satellite and in situ sea level observations, moored ADCP currents, and notably reasonable agreement with microstructure data. Barotropic and baroclinic energy equations are derived from the model’s sigma coordinate governing equations and are evaluated from the model simulation to form an energy budget. The M 2 barotropic tide loses 2.7 GW of energy over the study region. Of this, 163 MW (6%) is dissipated by bottom friction and 2.3 GW (85%) is converted into internal tides. Internal tide generation primarily occurs along the flanks of the Kaena Ridge and south of Niihau and Kauai. The majority of the baroclinic energy (1.7 GW) is radiated out of the model domain, while 0.45 GW is dissipated close to the generation regions. The modeled baroclinic dissipation within the 1000-m isobath for the Kaena Ridge agrees to within a factor of 2 with the area-weighted dissipation from 313 microstructure profiles. Topographic resolution is important, with the present 0.01° resolution model resulting in 20% more barotropic-to-baroclinic conversion compared to when the same analysis is performed on a 4-km resolution simulation. A simple extrapolation of these results to the entire Hawaiian Ridge is in qualitative agreement with recent estimates based on satellite altimetry data.

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Nirnimesh Kumar, James A. Lerczak, Tongtong Xu, Amy F. Waterhouse, Jim Thomson, Eric J. Terrill, Christy Swann, Sutara H. Suanda, Matthew S. Spydell, Pieter B. Smit, Alexandra Simpson, Roland Romeiser, Stephen D. Pierce, Tony de Paolo, André Palóczy, Annika O’Dea, Lisa Nyman, James N. Moum, Melissa Moulton, Andrew M. Moore, Arthur J. Miller, Ryan S. Mieras, Sophia T. Merrifield, Kendall Melville, Jacqueline M. McSweeney, Jamie MacMahan, Jennifer A. MacKinnon, Björn Lund, Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Luc Lenain, Michael Kovatch, Tim T. Janssen, Sean Haney, Merrick C. Haller, Kevin Haas, Derek J. Grimes, Hans C. Graber, Matt K. Gough, David A. Fertitta, Falk Feddersen, Christopher A. Edwards, William Crawford, John Colosi, C. Chris Chickadel, Sean Celona, Joseph Calantoni, Edward F. Braithwaite III, Johannes Becherer, John A. Barth, and Seongho Ahn

Abstract

The inner shelf, the transition zone between the surf zone and the mid shelf, is a dynamically complex region with the evolution of circulation and stratification driven by multiple physical processes. Cross-shelf exchange through the inner shelf has important implications for coastal water quality, ecological connectivity, and lateral movement of sediment and heat. The Inner-Shelf Dynamics Experiment (ISDE) was an intensive, coordinated, multi-institution field experiment from Sep.-Oct. 2017, conducted from the mid shelf, through the inner shelf and into the surf zone near Point Sal, CA. Satellite, airborne, shore- and ship-based remote sensing, in-water moorings and ship-based sampling, and numerical ocean circulation models forced by winds, waves and tides were used to investigate the dynamics governing the circulation and transport in the inner shelf and the role of coastline variability on regional circulation dynamics. Here, the following physical processes are highlighted: internal wave dynamics from the mid shelf to the inner shelf; flow separation and eddy shedding off Point Sal; offshore ejection of surfzone waters from rip currents; and wind-driven subtidal circulation dynamics. The extensive dataset from ISDE allows for unprecedented investigations into the role of physical processes in creating spatial heterogeneity, and nonlinear interactions between various inner-shelf physical processes. Overall, the highly spatially and temporally resolved oceanographic measurements and numerical simulations of ISDE provide a central framework for studies exploring this complex and fascinating region of the ocean.

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Molly Baringer, Mariana B. Bif, Tim Boyer, Seth M. Bushinsky, Brendan R. Carter, Ivona Cetinić, Don P. Chambers, Lijing Cheng, Sanai Chiba, Minhan Dai, Catia M. Domingues, Shenfu Dong, Andrea J. Fassbender, Richard A. Feely, Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Bryan A. Franz, John Gilson, Gustavo Goni, Benjamin D. Hamlington, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Boyin Huang, Masayoshi Ishii, Svetlana Jevrejeva, William E. Johns, Gregory C. Johnson, Kenneth S. Johnson, John Kennedy, Marion Kersalé, Rachel E. Killick, Peter Landschützer, Matthias Lankhorst, Tong Lee, Eric Leuliette, Feili Li, Eric Lindstrom, Ricardo Locarnini, Susan Lozier, John M. Lyman, John J. Marra, Christopher S. Meinen, Mark A. Merrifield, Gary T. Mitchum, Ben Moat, Didier Monselesan, R. Steven Nerem, Renellys C. Perez, Sarah G. Purkey, Darren Rayner, James Reagan, Nicholas Rome, Alejandra Sanchez-Franks, Claudia Schmid, Joel P. Scott, Uwe Send, David A. Siegel, David A. Smeed, Sabrina Speich, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., William Sweet, Yuichiro Takeshita, Philip R. Thompson, Joaquin A. Triñanes, Martin Visbeck, Denis L. Volkov, Rik Wanninkhof, Robert A. Weller, Toby K. Westberry, Matthew J. Widlansky, Susan E. Wijffels, Anne C. Wilber, Lisan Yu, Weidong Yu, and Huai-Min Zhang
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