Observations of sound-speed fluctuations on the New Jersey continental shelf in the summer of 2006
Colosi, John A.
Duda, Timothy F.
Lynch, James F.
Newhall, Arthur E.
Cornuelle, Bruce D.
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Environmental sensors moored on the New Jersey continental shelf tracked constant density surfaces (isopycnals) for 35 days in the summer of 2006. Sound-speed fluctuations from internal-wave vertical isopycnal displacements and from temperature/salinity variability along isopycnals (spiciness) are analyzed using frequency spectra and vertical covariance functions. Three varieties of internal waves are studied: Diffuse broadband internal waves (akin to waves fitting the deep water Garrett/Munk spectrum), internal tides, and, to a lesser extent, nonlinear internal waves. These internal-wave contributions are approximately distinct in the frequency domain. It is found that in the main thermocline spicy thermohaline structure dominates the root mean square sound-speed variability, with smaller contributions coming from (in order) nonlinear internal waves, diffuse internal waves, and internal tides. The frequency spectra of internal-wave displacements and of spiciness have similar form, likely due to the advection of variable-spiciness water masses by horizontal internal-wave currents, although there are technical limitations to the observations at high frequency. In the low-frequency, internal-wave band the internal-wave spectrum follows frequency to the −1.81 power, whereas the spice spectrum shows a −1.73 power. Mode spectra estimated via covariance methods show that the diffuse internal-wave spectrum has a smaller mode bandwidth than Garrett/Munk and that the internal tide has significant energy in modes one through three.
Author Posting. © Acoustical Society of America, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of Acoustical Society of America for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 131 (2012): 1733-1748, doi:10.1121/1.3666014.