Spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves by the Kuroshio Front
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordCirculation/ Dynamics; Frontogenesis/frontolysis; Fronts; Internal waves; Turbulence; Upwelling/downwelling; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena; Jets
While near-inertial waves are known to be generated by atmospheric storms, recent observations in the Kuroshio Front find intense near-inertial internal-wave shear along sloping isopycnals, even during calm weather. Recent literature suggests that spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves by frontal instabilities could represent a major sink for the subinertial quasigeostrophic circulation. An unforced three-dimensional 1-km-resolution model, initialized with the observed cross-Kuroshio structure, is used to explore this mechanism. After several weeks, the model exhibits growth of 10–100-km-scale frontal meanders, accompanied by O(10) mW m−2 spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves associated with readjustment of submesoscale fronts forced out of balance by mesoscale confluent flows. These waves have properties resembling those in the observations. However, they are reabsorbed into the model Kuroshio Front with no more than 15% dissipating or radiating away. Thus, spontaneous generation of near-inertial waves represents a redistribution of quasigeostrophic energy rather than a significant sink.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 2381–2406, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0086.1.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Katrein, Jody M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2001-09)As part of Phase III of the U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank program, drogued drifters and dye tracer were released into the pycnocline on the southern flank of Georges Bank to measure advective and diffusive transport relative ...
Farrell, W. E.; Berger, Jonathan; Bidlot, Jean-Raymond; Dzieciuch, Monika; Munk, Walter; Stephen, Ralph A.; Worcester, Peter F. (American Meteorological Society, 2016-05-10)A rapid and broadband (1 h, 1 < f < 400 Hz) increase in pressure and vertical velocity on the deep ocean floor was observed on seven instruments comprising a 20-km array in the northeastern subtropical Pacific. The authors ...
Thomson, James M.; Horner-Devine, Alex R.; Zippel, Seth; Rusch, Curtis; Geyer, W. Rockwell (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-12-19)Observations at the Columbia River plume show that wave breaking is an important source of turbulence at the offshore front, which may contribute to plume mixing. The lateral gradient of current associated with the plume ...