Synthetic Aperture Radar observations of resonantly generated internal solitary waves at Race Point Channel (Cape Cod)
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KeywordInternal solitary waves; Resonant generation; Flow through straits; Variable Froude; Synthetic aperture radar; Massachusetts Bay
Synthetic Aperture Radar images revealed the two-dimensional propagation characteristics of short-period internal solitary waves in Race Point Channel in Massachusetts Bay. The images and in situ measurements of the flow in the channel are used to infer the likely generation mechanism of the waves. The solitary waves are generated during the ebb phase of the tide within the channel. On some occasions, two trains of internal waves are generated presumably at the same location but at slightly different phases of the ebb tide. The main characteristics of the (two-layer) flow are described based on the criticality of the Froude number. It is suggested that these two individual packets of waves result from flow passage through resonance (where the Froude number is one). One packet is generated as the flow passes through the transcritical regime during the acceleration phase of the (ebb) tidal current, and another packet is generated during the deceleration phase. Both packets propagate upstream when the tide slacks, but with slightly different propagation directions.
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 Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (2008): C11016, doi:10.1029/2008JC005004.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research 113 (2008): C11016
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