Musgrave Ruth C.

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Ruth C.

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Now showing 1 - 11 of 11
  • Article
    Are any coastal internal tides predictable?
    (The Oceanography Society, 2012-06) Nash, Jonathan D. ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Kelly, Samuel M. ; Inall, Mark E. ; Duda, Timothy F. ; Levine, Murray D. ; Jones, Nicole L. ; Musgrave, Ruth C.
    Surface tides are the heartbeat of the ocean. Because they are controlled by Earth's motion relative to other astronomical objects in our solar system, surface tides act like clockwork and generate highly deterministic ebb and flow familiar to all mariners. In contrast, baroclinic motions at tidal frequencies are much more stochastic, owing to complexities in how these internal motions are generated and propagate. Here, we present analysis of current records from continental margins worldwide to illustrate that coastal internal tides are largely unpredictable. This conclusion has numerous implications for coastal processes, as across-shelf exchange and vertical mixing are, in many cases, strongly influenced by the internal wave field.
  • Preprint
    The formation and fate of internal waves in the South China Sea
    ( 2015-03) Alford, Matthew H. ; Peacock, Thomas ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Buijsman, Maarten C. ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Chao, Shenn-Yu ; Chang, Ming-Huei ; Farmer, David M. ; Fringer, Oliver B. ; Fu, Ke-Hsien ; Gallacher, Patrick C. ; Graber, Hans C. ; Helfrich, Karl R. ; Jachec, Steven M. ; Jackson, Christopher R. ; Klymak, Jody M. ; Ko, Dong S. ; Jan, Sen ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Legg, Sonya ; Lee, I-Huan ; Lien, Ren-Chieh ; Mercier, Matthieu J. ; Moum, James N. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Park, Jae-Hun ; Pickering, Andrew I. ; Pinkel, Robert ; Rainville, Luc ; Ramp, Steven R. ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Sarkar, Sutanu ; Scotti, Alberto ; Simmons, Harper L. ; St Laurent, Louis C. ; Venayagamoorthy, Subhas K. ; Wang, Yu-Huai ; Wang, Joe ; Yang, Yiing-Jang ; Paluszkiewicz, Theresa ; Tang, Tswen Yung
    Internal gravity waves, the subsurface analogue of the familiar surface gravity waves that break on beaches, are ubiquitous in the ocean. Because of their strong vertical and horizontal currents, and the turbulent mixing caused by their breaking, they impact a panoply of ocean processes, such as the supply of nutrients for photosynthesis1, sediment and pollutant transport2 and acoustic transmission3; they also pose hazards for manmade structures in the ocean4. Generated primarily by the wind and the tides, internal waves can travel thousands of kilometres from their sources before breaking5, posing severe challenges for their observation and their inclusion in numerical climate models, which are sensitive to their effects6-7. Over a decade of studies8-11 have targeted the South China Sea, where the oceans’ most powerful internal waves are generated in the Luzon Strait and steepen dramatically as they propagate west. Confusion has persisted regarding their generation mechanism, variability and energy budget, however, due to the lack of in-situ data from the Luzon Strait, where extreme flow conditions make measurements challenging. Here we employ new observations and numerical models to (i) show that the waves begin as sinusoidal disturbances rather than from sharp hydraulic phenomena, (ii) reveal the existence of >200-m-high breaking internal waves in the generation region that give rise to turbulence levels >10,000 times that in the open ocean, (iii) determine that the Kuroshio western boundary current significantly refracts the internal wave field emanating from the Luzon Strait, and (iv) demonstrate a factor-of-two agreement between modelled and observed energy fluxes that enables the first observationally-supported energy budget of the region. Together, these findings give a cradle-to-grave picture of internal waves on a basin scale, which will support further improvements of their representation in numerical climate predictions.
  • Article
    Observations of double diffusive staircase edges in the Arctic Ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-10-12) Boury, Samuel ; Supekar, Rohit ; Fine, Elizabeth C. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Mickett, John B. ; Voet, Gunnar ; Odier, Philippe ; Peacock, Thomas ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Alford, Matthew H.
    Recent observational studies have provided detailed descriptions of double‐diffusive staircases in the Beaufort Sea, characterized by well‐mixed intrusions between high‐gradient interfaces. These structures result from double‐diffusive convection, occurring when cooler fresh water lies atop the warmer saltier Atlantic water layer. In the present study, we investigate the spatial structure of such layers, by analyzing combined high resolution data from a subsurface mooring, a ship‐towed profiling conductivity‐temperature‐depth/ADCP package, and a free‐falling microstructure profiler. At large scale, the modular microstructure profiler data suggest a horizontal “ragged edge” of the layered water masses near the basin boundary. At smaller scales, the mooring data indicate that, in the 300–400 m depth interval, regions of layers abruptly appear. This laterally sharp (of the order of 100 m) interface is advected southwards, as shown by the shallow water integrated mapping system survey conducted nearby. Neither disruption nor formation of layers is directly observed in our data, and we thus interpret our observations as the stable and possibly recent abutment of a layered and an unlayered water masses, now globally advected southwards by a large scale flow.
  • Article
    The generation of Rossby waves and wake eddies by small islands
    (Sears Foundation for Marine Research, 2018-03) Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Flierl, Glenn R. ; Peacock, Thomas
    The influence of small islands on zonal geostrophic currents is examined in a two-layer configuration. An analytic solution for steady quasigeostrophic flow is derived under the assumption of no upstream influence and is validated numerically in a time-dependent quasigeostrophic model. Under these conditions solutions are the sum of two eigenmodes, which are either arrested Rossby waves or evanescent depending on background flow conditions (layer speeds, stratification, and latitude). In contrast to homogeneous flows, arrested Rossby waves in two layers can occur even when the depth mean flow is westward and can be generated both to the east and west of the island. A third blocking mode may play a role in general, altering the meridional structure of the zonal flow upstream and downstream of the island. The influence of the quasigeostrophic modes on submesoscale island wake eddies is considered in a two-layer primitive equation model with no-slip boundary conditions at the island. Wake eddy formation is inhibited in the presence of an arrested Rossby wave, though the overall drag is similar.
  • Article
    Energy fluxes in coastal trapped waves
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-12-03) Musgrave, Ruth C.
    The calculation of energy flux in coastal trapped wave modes is reviewed in the context of tidal energy pathways near the coast. The significant barotropic pressures and currents associated with coastal trapped wave modes mean that large errors in estimating the wave flux are incurred if only the baroclinic component is considered. A specific example is given showing that baroclinic flux constitutes only 10% of the flux in a mode-1 wave for a reasonable choice of stratification and bathymetry. The interpretation of baroclinic energy flux and barotropic-to-baroclinic conversion at the coast is discussed: in contrast to the open ocean, estimates of baroclinic energy flux do not represent a wave energy flux; neither does conversion represent the scattering of energy from the tidal Kelvin wave to higher modes.
  • Article
    On the predictability of sea surface height around Palau
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-11-01) Andres, Magdalena ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Zeiden, Kristin L. ; Peacock, Thomas ; Park, Jae-Hun
    As part of the Flow Encountering Abrupt Topography (FLEAT) program, an array of pressure-sensor equipped inverted echo sounders (PIESs) was deployed north of Palau where the westward-flowing North Equatorial Current encounters the southern end of the Kyushu–Palau Ridge in the tropical North Pacific. Capitalizing on concurrent observations from satellite altimetry, FLEAT Spray gliders, and shipboard hydrography, the PIESs’ 10-month duration hourly bottom pressure p and round-trip acoustic travel time τ records are used to examine the magnitude and predictability of sea level and pycnocline depth changes and to track signal propagations through the array. Sea level and pycnocline depth are found to vary in response to a range of ocean processes, with their magnitude and predictability strongly process dependent. Signals characterized here comprise the barotropic tides, semidiurnal and diurnal internal tides, southeastward-propagating superinertial waves, westward-propagating mesoscale eddies, and a strong signature of sea level increase and pycnocline deepening associated with the region’s relaxation from El Niño to La Niña conditions. The presence of a broad band of superinertial waves just above the inertial frequency was unexpected and the FLEAT observations and output from a numerical model suggest that these waves detected near Palau are forced by remote winds east of the Philippines. The PIES-based estimates of pycnocline displacement are found to have large uncertainties relative to overall variability in pycnocline depth, as localized deep current variations arising from interactions of the large-scale currents with the abrupt topography around Palau have significant travel time variability.
  • Article
    Climate Process Team on internal wave–driven ocean mixing
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-12-01) MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Zhao, Zhongxiang ; Whalen, Caitlin B. ; Waterhouse, Amy F. ; Trossman, David S. ; Sun, Oliver M. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Simmons, Harper L. ; Polzin, Kurt L. ; Pinkel, Robert ; Pickering, Andrew I. ; Norton, Nancy J. ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Merchant, Lynne M. ; Melet, Angelique ; Mater, Benjamin D. ; Legg, Sonya ; Large, William G. ; Kunze, Eric ; Klymak, Jody M. ; Jochum, Markus ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Hallberg, Robert ; Griffies, Stephen M. ; Diggs, Stephen ; Danabasoglu, Gokhan ; Chassignet, Eric P. ; Buijsman, Maarten C. ; Bryan, Frank O. ; Briegleb, Bruce P. ; Barna, Andrew ; Arbic, Brian K. ; Ansong, Joseph ; Alford, Matthew H.
    Diapycnal mixing plays a primary role in the thermodynamic balance of the ocean and, consequently, in oceanic heat and carbon uptake and storage. Though observed mixing rates are on average consistent with values required by inverse models, recent attention has focused on the dramatic spatial variability, spanning several orders of magnitude, of mixing rates in both the upper and deep ocean. Away from ocean boundaries, the spatiotemporal patterns of mixing are largely driven by the geography of generation, propagation, and dissipation of internal waves, which supply much of the power for turbulent mixing. Over the last 5 years and under the auspices of U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR), a National Science Foundation (NSF)- and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-supported Climate Process Team has been engaged in developing, implementing, and testing dynamics-based parameterizations for internal wave–driven turbulent mixing in global ocean models. The work has primarily focused on turbulence 1) near sites of internal tide generation, 2) in the upper ocean related to wind-generated near inertial motions, 3) due to internal lee waves generated by low-frequency mesoscale flows over topography, and 4) at ocean margins. Here, we review recent progress, describe the tools developed, and discuss future directions.
  • Article
    Flow Encountering Abrupt Topography (FLEAT): a multiscale observational and modeling program to understand how topography affects flows in the western North Pacific
    (Oceanography Society, 2019-12-11) Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Schönau, Martha ; Paluszkiewicz, Theresa ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Arbic, Brian K. ; Colin, Patrick L. ; Alford, Matthew H. ; Andres, Magdalena ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Graber, Hans C. ; Helfrich, Karl R. ; Hormann, Verena ; Lermusiaux, Pierre F. J. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Powell, Brian S. ; Qiu, Bo ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Simmons, Harper L. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Terrill, Eric ; Trossman, David S. ; Voet, Gunnar ; Wijesekera, Hemantha W. ; Zeide, Kristin L.
    Using a combination of models and observations, the US Office of Naval Research Flow Encountering Abrupt Topography (FLEAT) initiative examines how island chains and submerged ridges affect open ocean current systems, from the hundreds of kilometer scale of large current features to the millimeter scale of turbulence. FLEAT focuses on the western Pacific, mainly on equatorial currents that encounter steep topography near the island nation of Palau. Wake eddies and lee waves as small as 1 km were observed to form as these currents flowed around or over the steep topography. The direction and vertical structure of the incident flow varied over tidal, inertial, seasonal, and interannual timescales, with implications for downstream flow. Models incorporated tides and had grids with resolutions of hundreds of meters to enable predictions of flow transformations as waters encountered and passed around Palau’s islands. In addition to making scientific advances, FLEAT had a positive impact on the local Palauan community by bringing new technology to explore local waters, expanding the country’s scientific infrastructure, maintaining collaborations with Palauan partners, and conducting outreach activities aimed at elementary and high school students, US embassy personnel, and Palauan government officials.
  • Article
    Observations of diurnal coastal-trapped waves with a thermocline-intensified velocity field
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-07-16) Schlosser, Tamara L. ; Jones, Nicole L. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Bluteau, Cynthia E. ; Ivey, Gregory N. ; Lucas, Andrew J.
    Using 18 days of field observations, we investigate the diurnal (D1) frequency wave dynamics on the Tasmanian eastern continental shelf. At this latitude, the D1 frequency is subinertial and separable from the highly energetic near-inertial motion. We use a linear coastal-trapped wave (CTW) solution with the observed background current, stratification, and shelf bathymetry to determine the modal structure of the first three resonant CTWs. We associate the observed D1 velocity with a superimposed mode-zero and mode-one CTW, with mode one dominating mode zero. Both the observed and mode-one D1 velocity was intensified near the thermocline, with stronger velocities occurring when the thermocline stratification was stronger and/or the thermocline was deeper (up to the shelfbreak depth). The CTW modal structure and amplitude varied with the background stratification and alongshore current, with no spring–neap relationship evident for the observed 18 days. Within the surface and bottom Ekman layers on the shelf, the observed velocity phase changed in the cross-shelf and/or vertical directions, inconsistent with an alongshore propagating CTW. In the near-surface and near-bottom regions, the linear CTW solution also did not match the observed velocity, particularly within the bottom Ekman layer. Boundary layer processes were likely causing this observed inconsistency with linear CTW theory. As linear CTW solutions have an idealized representation of boundary dynamics, they should be cautiously applied on the shelf.
  • Article
    Eddies, topography, and the abyssal flow by the Kyushu-Palau Ridge near Velasco Reef
    (The Oceanography Society, 2019-12-11) Andres, Magdalena ; Siegelman, Mika ; Hormann, Verena ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Merrifield, Sophia T. ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Merrifield, Mark ; Alford, Matthew H. ; Voet, Gunnar ; Wijesekera, Hemantha W. ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Terrill, Eric
    Palau, an island group in the tropical western North Pacific at the southern end of Kyushu-Palau Ridge, sits near the boundary between the westward-​flowing North Equatorial Current (NEC) and the eastward-flowing North Equatorial Countercurrent. Combining remote-sensing observations of the sea surface with an unprecedented in situ set of subsurface measurements, we examine the flow near Palau with a particular focus on the abyssal circulation and on the deep expression of mesoscale eddies in the region. We find that the deep currents time-averaged over 10 months are generally very weak north of Palau and not aligned with the NEC in the upper ocean. This weak abyssal flow is punctuated by the passing of mesoscale eddies, evident as sea surface height anomalies, that disrupt the mean flow from the surface to the seafloor. Eddy influence is observed to depths exceeding 4,200 m. These deep-​reaching mesoscale eddies typically propagate westward past Palau, and as they do, any associated deep flows must contend with the topography of the Kyushu-Palau Ridge. This interaction leads to vertical structure far below the main thermocline. Observations examined here for one particularly strong and well-sampled eddy suggest that the flow was equivalent barotropic in the far field east and west of the ridge, with a more complicated vertical structure in the immediate vicinity of the ridge by the tip of Velasco Reef.
  • Dataset
    Near-full-depth profile observations of water properties and currents at four deep-ocean sites
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2023-07-17) Toole, John M. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Fine, Elizabeth C. ; Steinberg, Jacob M. ; Krishfield, Richard A.
    The Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation established four deep ocean observing sites between summer 2013 and spring 2015: Argentine Basin (42˚ 58.9’ S, 42˚ 29.9’ W, water depth 5200 m), Southern Ocean (54 ˚ 28.1’ S, 89˚ 22.1’ W, 4800 m), Station Papa (50˚ 4.2’ N, 144˚ 47.9 W, 4219 m), and Irminger Sea (59˚ 58.5’ N, 39 ˚ 28.9’ W, 2800 m). Each site was instrumented with four closely-spaced moorings of various design supporting a variety of sensors. As no single OOI mooring in these arrays provides temperature, salinity and horizontal velocity information over the full water column, observations from two or more moorings were combined to produce vertical profiles at ½-dbar vertical resolution of sea water temperature, salinity, east and north velocity and vertical displacement. These profile data are reported here.