A characterization of internal solitons in the SWARM region of the New York bight
Racine, Brian S.
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A field experiment was undertaken during July and August of 1995 aimed at understanding the interaction of acoustic signals with the internal wave field off the coast of New Jersey. As part of SWARM (Shallow Water Acoustics in a Random Medium), physical data were collected in 75 m of water near 39°15.34'N, 72°56.59'W with three thermistor strings, a bottom-mounted ADCP, and yo-yo CTDs. These data spanned a two-week period of the month-long study. With the exception of a time following a storm event, during which the generation mechanism near the shelf break was effectively switched off, large-amplitude (up to 20 meters), rank-ordered groups of internal solitons were observed traveling through the region approximately every 12.4 hours. These groups of solitons progressed across the shelf with phase speeds of 61.8 ± 14.9 cm/s with a heading of 280 ± 31° T. Two-layer finite-depth theory was tested on this data and shown to consistently overpredict the phase speed of the internal solitons within each group. Predictions of horizontal scale, particle velocities, and displacements were in qualitative agreement with two-layer finite-depth dynamics.
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 1996
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