SSH signature of the internal wave spectrum inferred from profiling moorings

Matthew Alford (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, United States)


Girton James (Applied Physics Laboratory/University of Washington, United States); Chinn Brian (Applied Physics Laboratory/University of Washington, United States)

Event: 2015 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Tides, internal tides and high-frequency processes

Presentation type: Type Oral

Wavenumber-frequency spectra of velocity and isopycnal displacement
from vertically profiling moorings are used to explore the
high-frequency sea-surface height (SSH) variability caused by internal
waves. Horizontal structure can be inferred from the linear internal
wave dispersion relation and baroclinic mode equations, and
directional information can be obtained from the velocity-displacement
phase relationship.

While the broadband structure of internal waves in the ocean is
well-described by a varying-level Garrett-Munk spectrum, the
narrowband peaks from internal tides and near-inertial internal waves
are largely absent from the GM model. The datasets considered here
include a range of coastal and open ocean regimes with different
levels of tidal and near-inertial energy, and so provide a reasonable
description of the flavors of SSH spectra expected.

Synthetic fields from these SSH spectra run through the SWOT simulator
illustrate what sorts of apparent patterns internal waves might produce and
suggest ways in which the SWOT mission may be able to identify and/or
remove them.

Oral presentation show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Grand Ballroom 2 Wed, Oct 21 2015,12:19 Wed, Oct 21 2015,12:32
Matthew Alford
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
United States