Influence of varying upper ocean stratification on coastal near-inertial currents Public Deposited

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  • The influence of varying horizontal and vertical stratification in the upper layer ( inline image m) associated with riverine waters and seasonal atmospheric fluxes on coastal near-inertial currents is investigated with remotely sensed and in situ observations of surface and subsurface currents and realistic numerical model outputs off the coast of Oregon. Based on numerical simulations with and without the Columbia River (CR) during summer, the directly wind-forced near-inertial surface currents are enhanced by 30%–60% when the near-surface layer has a stratified condition due to riverine water inputs from the CR. Comparing model results without the CR for summer and winter conditions indicates that the directly wind-forced near-inertial surface current response to a unit wind forcing during summer are 20%–70% stronger than those during winter depending on the cross-shore location, which is in contrast to the seasonal patterns of both mixed-layer depth and amplitudes of near-inertial currents. The model simulations are used to examine aspects of coastal inhibition of near-inertial currents, manifested in their spatial coherence in the cross-shore direction, where the phase propagates upward over the continental shelf, bounces at the coast, and continues increasing upward offshore (toward surface) and then downward offshore at the surface, with magnitudes and length scales in the near-surface layer increasing offshore. This pattern exhibits a particularly well-organized structure during winter. Similarly, the raypaths of clockwise near-inertial internal waves are consistent with the phase propagation of coherence, showing the influence of upper layer stratification and coastal inhibition.
  • The data used in the paper will be available from the authors upon request ( to comply with the American Geophysical Union Publications Data Policy.
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  • Kim, S. Y., Kurapov, A. L., & Kosro, P. M. (2015). Influence of varying upper ocean stratification on coastal near‐inertial currents. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120(12), 8504-8527. doi:10.1002/2015JC011153
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  • 120
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  • 12
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  • Sung Yong Kim is supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF), Ministry of Education (NRF-2013R1A1A2057849), and the Human Resources Development of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (no. 20114030200040), Republic of Korea. Alexander L. Kurapov is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (grants OCE-0434810, OCE-0648314, and OCE-1030922), the Office of Naval Research Physical Oceanography Program (grant N000140810942) (including CIOSS and IOOS-NANOOS). P. Michael Kosro is supported by the NSF (grants 0000734, 0434810, and 0237710) and the NOAA IOOS program (most recently NA11NOS0120036). Surface current and wind data are provided by Oregon State University and National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), respectively. M. D. Levine made the moored measurements of temperature and salinity at NH10 described in section 2.3.2, with NANOOS funding.
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