Resonant and near-resonant internal wave interactions
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The spectral energy density of the internal waves in the open ocean is considered. The Garrett and Munk spectrum and the resonant kinetic equation are used as the main tools of the study. Evaluations of a resonant kinetic equation that suggest the slow time evolution of the Garrett and Munk spectrum is not in fact slow are reported. Instead, nonlinear transfers lead to evolution time scales that are smaller than one wave period at high vertical wavenumber. Such values of the transfer rates are inconsistent with the viewpoint expressed in papers by C. H. McComas and P. Müller, and by P. Müller et al., which regards the Garrett and Munk spectrum as an approximate stationary state of the resonant kinetic equation. It also puts the self-consistency of a resonant kinetic equation at a serious risk. The possible reasons for and resolutions of this paradox are explored. Inclusion of near-resonant interactions decreases the rate at which the spectrum evolves. Consequently, this inclusion shows a tendency of improving of self-consistency of the kinetic equation approach.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 669–691, doi:10.1175/2011JPO4129.1.
Suggested CitationJournal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 669–691
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