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Internal Tides and Turbulence along the 3000-m Isobath of the Hawaiian Ridge Public Deposited

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  • Full-depth velocity and density profiles taken along the 3000-m isobath characterize the semidiurnal internal tide and bottom-intensified turbulence along the Hawaiian Ridge. Observations reveal baroclinic energy fluxes of 21 ± 5 kW m⁻¹ radiating from French Frigate Shoals, 17 ± 2.5 kW m⁻¹ from Kauai Channel west of Oahu, and 13 ± 3.5 kW m⁻¹ from west of Nihoa Island. Weaker fluxes of 1–4 ± 2 kWm⁻¹ radiate from the region near Necker Island and east of Nihoa Island. Observed off-ridge energy fluxes generally agree to within a factor of 2 with those produced by a tidally forced numerical model. Average turbulent diapycnal diffusivity K is (0.5–1) x 10⁻⁴ m² s⁻¹ above 2000 m, increasing exponentially to 20 x 10⁻⁴ m² s⁻¹ near the bottom. Microstructure values agree well with those inferred from a finescale internal wave-based parameterization. A linear relationship between the vertically integrated energy flux and vertically integrated turbulent dissipation rate implies that dissipative length scales for the radiating internal tide exceed 1000 km.
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  • Lee, Craig M., Thomas B. Sanford, Eric Kunze, Jonathan D. Nash, Mark A. Merrifield, Peter E. Holloway, 2006: Internal Tides and Turbulence along the 3000-m Isobath of the Hawaiian Ridge. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 36, 1165–1183.
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  • 36
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  • 6
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  • This work was supportedby NSF Grant OCE 98-19537.
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