Observations of the semidiurnal internal tide on the southern California slope and shelf

Lerczak, JA, Winant CD, Hendershott MC.  2003.  Observations of the semidiurnal internal tide on the southern California slope and shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 108

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baroclinic, coastal, coastal-trapped waves, continental shelf and slope circulation, continental-shelf, currents, frequencies, internal tide, internal waves, north-west shelf, oregon, tides, trapped wave


[1] We give a detailed description of the semidiurnal-band current and temperature variability observed during the Internal Waves on the Continental Margin (IWAVES) field experiments of 1996 and 1997 off of Mission Beach, California. This variability was dominated by the internal tide, and the structure of the internal tide on the slope and shelfbreak region was different from that on the narrow shelf. On the slope and shelfbreak, the internal tide was dominated by alongshore propagating coastal-trapped waves. In this region, semidiurnal-band currents were predominantly oriented in the alongshore direction. In the lower half of the water column at a water depth H of 350 m, current and temperature variability were consonant with a short wavelength (similar to8 km) bottom trapped wave propagating in the alongshore direction to the north. In the upper 120 m of the water column (above the depth of the shelfbreak), slope and shelfbreak currents were highly coherent with a zero phase lag; that is, there was no phase propagation in the cross-shore direction. On the narrow (similar to10 km) shelf, cross-shore currents u were much more energetic than on the slope and had the structure of a mode-one internal wave. The alongshore currents v decreased monotonically from the surface to the bottom of the water column with a phase that did not change with depth. The near-bottom u signal propagated toward the coast during all mooring deployments, faster in the summer than in the fall. The near-bottom u and mid-column temperature relative phase was neither consistent with a purely progressive nor a purely standing mode-one internal wave. We conclude that the internal tide on the shelf was partially reflected.






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