On the internal wave variability during the Internal Wave Experiment (IWEX)

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Frankignoul, Claude
Joyce, Terrence M.
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Internal waves
The relation between internal wave variability and larger and smaller scales of motion is investigated, using the IWEX data set. To investigate the role of internal waves in the vertical diffusion of large scale momentum, the time variability of the vertical flux of horizontal internal wave momentum (estimated from temperature and current data) is compared to that of the mean vertical shear. It is found that internal waves cannot cause a vertical viscosity as large as proposed by Müller (1976), but that the data are too noisy to detect a possible wave‐induced viscosity in absolute value of the order of 10−2 m2 s−1 or less. Similarities in the time behavior of the total internal wave energy and that of the square mean vertical shear suggest that some kind of dynamical coupling exists between internal waves and larger scale flows. There is some evidence that the level of temperature finestructure activity also varies in a related way. An analysis of CTD station data taken during Mode demonstrates the mappability of the finestructure activity, and again suggests a relation with the geostrophic eddy flow.
Also published as: Journal of Geophysical Research 84 (1979): 769-776.
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Frankignoul, C., & Joyce, T. M. (1981). On the internal wave variability during the Internal Wave Experiment (IWEX). Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. https://doi.org/10.1575/1912/10237
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