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Equilibrium Mechanisms within the Oceanic Internal Wave Field

C. H. McComasInstitute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093

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Abstract

Numerical computations indicate that the nonlinear self-interaction mechanisms, induced diffusion and elastic scattering generate a universal equilibrium spectrum of deep ocean internal waves. This spectrum is approximately that given by the Garrett and Munch model. The short relaxation times of small perturbations to the model demonstrates the equilibrium. A scenario for the genesis and maintenance of the universal equilibrium spectrum is proposed.

Abstract

Numerical computations indicate that the nonlinear self-interaction mechanisms, induced diffusion and elastic scattering generate a universal equilibrium spectrum of deep ocean internal waves. This spectrum is approximately that given by the Garrett and Munch model. The short relaxation times of small perturbations to the model demonstrates the equilibrium. A scenario for the genesis and maintenance of the universal equilibrium spectrum is proposed.

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