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Equatorward-Propagating Continental Shelf Waves

T. BeerNatural Systems Research Pty. Ltd., Environmental Consultants, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia

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R. GrimshawDepartment of Mathematics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia

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Abstract

This note is concerned with equatorward-propagating barotropic non-divergent shelf waves in a channel for which analytic solutions are obtained both for constant Coriolis parameter, and for the Coriolis parameter which varies with latitude. We show that the presence of a topographic barrier, or a turning latitude where the wave frequency equals the maximum allowable frequency for shelf waves, will result in wave reflection, and the subsequent formation of an amplitude-modulated wave.

Abstract

This note is concerned with equatorward-propagating barotropic non-divergent shelf waves in a channel for which analytic solutions are obtained both for constant Coriolis parameter, and for the Coriolis parameter which varies with latitude. We show that the presence of a topographic barrier, or a turning latitude where the wave frequency equals the maximum allowable frequency for shelf waves, will result in wave reflection, and the subsequent formation of an amplitude-modulated wave.

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