Explaining the global distribution of peak-spectrum variability of sea surface height
MetadataShow full item record
A 14-year satellite observation of sea surface height (SSH) reveals an interesting pattern. Along any latitude, there is a frequency at which the SSH power spectrum peaks, regardless of which hemisphere or oceanic basin. This peak-spectrum frequency is nearly identical to the critical frequency at which the zonal energy propagation of Rossby waves becomes stagnant. The interior ocean adjusts to atmospheric forcing by radiating energy away through Rossby waves. There are two distinct groups of Rossby waves, long ones carry the energy to the west while short ones send the energy to the east. At the critical frequency, these two waves merge and their zonal energy propagation becomes stagnant. Consequently, the energy from atmospheric forcing may accumulate in the ocean interior, and thus result in a spectrum peak.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2008. 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 35 (2008): L14602, doi:10.1029/2008GL034312.
Suggested CitationGeophysical Research Letters 35 (2008): L14602
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Lin, Xiaopei; Yin, Yuqi; Yang, Jiayan (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-02-25)Previous studies have shown that the power spectrum of satellite-observed sea surface height (SSH) variability peaks at a certain frequency (or a wave number) band at a given latitude. Lin et al. (2008) attributed this ...
An observing system simulation experiment for the calibration and validation of the surface water ocean topography sea surface height measurement using in situ platforms Wang, Jinbo; Fu, Lee-Lueng; Qiu, Bo; Menemenlis, Dimitris; Farrar, J. Thomas; Chao, Yi; Thompson, Andrew F.; Flexas, M. Mar (American Meteorological Society, 2018-02-07)The wavenumber spectrum of sea surface height (SSH) is an important indicator of the dynamics of the ocean interior. While the SSH wavenumber spectrum has been well studied at mesoscale wavelengths and longer, using both ...
Measuring surface ocean wave height and directional spectra using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler from an autonomous underwater vehicle Haven, Scott (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2012-09)The Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) is a proven technology which is capable of measuring surface wave height and directional information, however it is generally limited to rigid, bottom mounted applications which ...