Vertical heat flux and lateral mass transport in nonlinear internal waves
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Comprehensive observations of velocity, density, and turbulent dissipation permit quantification of the nonlinear internal wave (NLIW) contribution to vertical heat flux and lateral mass transport over New Jersey's shelf. The effect of NLIWs on the shelf heat budget was significant. On average, heat flux in NLIWs was 10 times larger than background at the pycnocline depth. NLIWs were present at midshelf <10% of the time, yet we estimate that they contributed roughly one−half the heat flux across the pycnocline during the observation period, which was characterized by weak to moderate winds. Lateral transport distances due to the leading 3 waves in NLIW packets were typically inline equation(100 m) but ranged several kilometers. The month-averaged daily onshore transport (per unit alongshelf dimension) by NLIWs is estimated as 0.3 m2s−1. This is comparable to a weak downwelling wind, but sustained over an entire month.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 37 (2010): L08601, doi:10.1029/2010GL042715.
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