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Sea surface temperature signatures of oceanic internal waves in low winds

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dc.contributor.author Farrar, J. Thomas
dc.contributor.author Zappa, Christopher J.
dc.contributor.author Weller, Robert A.
dc.contributor.author Jessup, Andrew T.
dc.date.accessioned 2007-09-18T16:54:54Z
dc.date.available 2007-09-18T16:54:54Z
dc.date.issued 2007-06-20
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Geophysical Research 112 (2007): C06014 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/1795
dc.description Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 112 (2007): C06014, doi:10.1029/2006JC003947. en
dc.description.abstract In aerial surveys conducted during the Tropical Ocean–Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment and the low-wind component of the Coupled Boundary Layer Air-Sea Transfer (CBLAST-Low) oceanographic field programs, sea surface temperature (SST) variability at relatively short spatial scales (O(50 m) to O(1 km)) was observed to increase with decreasing wind speed. A unique set of coincident surface and subsurface oceanic temperature measurements from CBLAST-Low is used to investigate the subsurface expression of this spatially organized SST variability, and the SST variability is linked to internal waves. The data are used to test two previously hypothesized mechanisms for SST signatures of oceanic internal waves: a modulation of the cool-skin effect and a modulation of vertical mixing within the diurnal warm layer. Under conditions of weak winds and strong insolation (which favor formation of a diurnal warm layer), the data reveal a link between the spatially periodic SST fluctuations and subsurface temperature and velocity fluctuations associated with oceanic internal waves, suggesting that some mechanism involving the diurnal warm layer is responsible for the observed signal. Internal-wave signals in skin temperature very closely resemble temperature signals measured at a depth of about 20 cm, indicating that the observed internal-wave SST signal is not a result of modulation of the cool-skin effect. Numerical experiments using a one-dimensional upper ocean model support the notion that internal-wave heaving of the warm-layer base can produce alternating bands of relatively warm and cool SST through the combined effects of surface heating and modulation of wind-driven vertical shear. en
dc.description.sponsorship We gratefully acknowledge funding for this research from the Office of Naval Research through the CBLAST Departmental Research Initiative (grants N00014-01-1-0029, N00014-05-10090, N00014-01-1-0081, N00014-04-1-0110, N00014-05-1-0036, N00014-01-1-0080) and the Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Chair (grant N00014-99-1-0090). en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher American Geophysical Union en
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006JC003947
dc.subject Internal waves en
dc.subject Upper-ocean processes en
dc.title Sea surface temperature signatures of oceanic internal waves in low winds en
dc.type Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1029/2006JC003947


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