Measurements of a barotropic planetary vorticity mode in an eddy-resolving quasi-geostrophic model using acoustic tomography
Lawrence, Wendy B.
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A tomographic array is placed in a 2-layer, flat bottom, steady-wind driven quasi-geostrophic circulation model to investigate whether the analysis of acoustic travel time changes can detect large-scale barotropic oscillations. Time series of sea surface elevation and upper and lower layer meridional currents are generated for comparison against a series of acoustic travel times. The spectra of these time series exhibit a broad mesoscale peak near a period of 40 days. The spectrum of the acoustic travel time contains a significant peak due to a resonant barotropic oscillation with a period of 28.6 days which is not present in the spectra of the point measurements. In this numerical model, basin-scale tomographic measurements are a better method of sensing the large-scale resonant barotropic oscillations than are conventional point measurements because the tomographic system attenuates the "noise" from the mesoscale.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution August 1988
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