Semidiurnal baroclinic tides on the central Oregon inner shelf

Suanda, SH, Barth JA.  2015.  Semidiurnal baroclinic tides on the central Oregon inner shelf. Journal of Physical Oceanography. : American Meteorological Society

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AbstractSemidiurnal velocity and density oscillations are examined over the mid and inner continental shelf near Heceta Bank on the Oregon coast. Measurements from two long-term observation networks with sites on and off the submarine bank reveal that both baroclinic velocities and displacements are dominated by the first mode, with larger velocities on the mid shelf and northern parts of the bank. Mid-shelf sites have current ellipses that are near the theoretical value for single, progressive internal tidal waves compared to more linearly polarized currents over the inner shelf. Baroclinic current variability is not correlated to the spring-neap cycle and is uncorrelated between mooring locations. An idealized model of two internal waves propagating from different directions reproduces some of the observed variability in semidiurnal ellipse parameters. At times, the phasing between moorings along a cross-shelf transect are consistent with onshelf wave propagation, a characteristic also present in the output of a three-dimensional regional circulation model. Regional wind-driven upwelling/downwelling influences stratification at all shelf moorings. At locations north of the bank, stronger baroclinic velocities were found during periods of higher background stratification.