Large-scale, realistic laboratory modeling of M2 internal tide generation at the Luzon Strait

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Mercier, Matthieu J.
Gostiaux, Louis
Helfrich, Karl R.
Sommeria, Joel
Viboud, Samuel
Didelle, Henri
Ghaemsaidi, Sasan J.
Dauxois, Thierry
Peacock, Thomas
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Internal tide
Luzon Strait
Internal solitary waves
Laboratory experiments
The complex double-ridge system in the Luzon Strait in the South China Sea (SCS) is one of the strongest sources of internal tides in the oceans, associated with which are some of the largest amplitude internal solitary waves on record. An issue of debate, however, has been the specific nature of their generation mechanism. To provide insight, we present the results of a large-scale laboratory experiment performed at the Coriolis platform. The experiment was carefully designed so that the relevant dimensionless parameters, which include the excursion parameter, criticality, Rossby, and Froude numbers, closely matched the ocean scenario. The results advocate that a broad and coherent weakly nonlinear, three-dimensional, M2 internal tide that is shaped by the overall geometry of the double-ridge system is radiated into the South China Sea and subsequently steepens, as opposed to being generated by a particular feature or localized region within the ridge system.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013): 5704–5709, doi:10.1002/2013GL058064.
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Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013): 5704–5709
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