Internal tides around the Hawaiian Ridge estimated from multisatellite altimetry

Zhao, ZX, Alford MH, Girton J, Johnston TMS, Carter G.  2011.  Internal tides around the Hawaiian Ridge estimated from multisatellite altimetry. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 116

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altimetry, central north pacific, circulation, deep-ocean, dissipation, energetics, satellite, surface manifestation, tidal energy, TOPEX/POSEIDON, turbulence


Satellite altimetric sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) data from Geosat Follow-on (GFO) and European Remote Sensing (ERS), as well as TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P), are merged to estimate M(2) internal tides around the Hawaiian Ridge, with higher spatial resolution than possible with single-satellite altimetry. The new estimates are compared with numerical model runs. Along-track analyses show that M(2) internal tides can be resolved from both 8 years of GFO and 15.5 years of ERS SSHA data. Comparisons at crossover points reveal that the M(2) estimates from T/P, GFO, and ERS agree well. Multisatellite altimetry improves spatial resolution due to its denser ground tracks. Thus M(2) internal tides can be plane wave fitted in 120 km x 120 km regions, compared to previous single-satellite estimates in 4 degrees lon x 3 degrees lat or 250 km x 250 km regions. In such small fitting regions the weaker and smaller-scale mode 2 M(2) internal tides can also be estimated. The higher spatial resolution leads to a clearer view of the M(2) internal tide field around the Hawaiian Ridge. Discrete generation sites and internal tidal beams are clearly distinguishable, and consistent with the numerical model runs. More importantly, multisatellite altimetry produces larger M(2) internal tidal energy fluxes, which agree better with model results, than previous single-satellite estimates. This study confirms that previous altimetric underestimates are partly due to the more widely spaced ground tracks and consequently larger fitting region. Multisatellite altimetry largely overcomes this limitation.






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