Internal tide scattering at the Line Islands Ridge

Johnston, TMS, Merrifield MA, Holloway PE.  2003.  Internal tide scattering at the Line Islands Ridge. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 108

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altimetry, baroclinic tides, central north pacific, deep-ocean, generation, Internal tides, mixing, seamount, topographic scattering, topography


[ 1] Scattering of the M-2 mode one internal tide from the Line Islands Ridge is examined with a primitive equation numerical model. Model runs with baroclinic and barotropic forcing are performed to distinguish scattered from locally generated internal tides. TPXO. 5 tidal model sea surface elevations provide barotropic forcing, while for the run with baroclinic forcing a mode one M-2 energy flux of 1000 W m-(1) is used to represent energy fluxes emanating from the Hawaiian Ridge. Scattering redistributes more energy flux from mode one than is locally generated in mode one. For the higher modes, scattering and generation contribute equally in terms of the overall energy flux. Spatial and modal distributions of energy density and flux show internal tide scattering dominates at Hutchinson Seamount, while higher modes are generated locally at Sculpin Ridge. Hutchinson Seamount's slopes are steeper over a greater continuous area than Sculpin Ridge. Scattered energy is found downstream of the steepest topographies, similar to simulations with idealized Gaussian ridges. At the Line Islands Ridge, 37% of the incident mode one energy flux is lost because of scattering into modes 2 - 5 ( 19%), dissipation by the model's turbulence parameterization ( 15%), and nonlinear transfer to the M-4 internal tide ( 3%). Two TOPEX ground tracks pass through the model domain roughly normal to the ridge topography and confirm the general features of the modal and spatial distribution found in the model. In the topographically rough western Pacific, internal tide scattering may be a significant source of energy for mixing away from topography.






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