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The Cascade of Tidal Energy from Low to High Modes on a Continental Slope Public Deposited

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  • The linear transfer of tidal energy from large to small scales is quantified for small tidal excursion over a near-critical continental slope. A theoretical framework for low-wavenumber energy transfer is derived from “flat bottom” vertical modes and evaluated with observations from the Oregon continental slope. To better understand the observations, local tidal dynamics are modeled with a superposition of two idealized numerical simulations, one forced by local surface-tide velocities and the other by an obliquely incident internal tide generated at the Mendocino Escarpment 315 km southwest of the study site. The simulations reproduce many aspects of the observed internal tide and verify the modal-energy balances. Observed transfer of tidal energy into high-mode internal tides is quantitatively consistent with observed turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation. Locally generated and incident simulated internal tides are superposed with varying phase shifts to mimic the effects of the temporally varying mesoscale. Altering the phase of the incident internal tide alters (i) internal-tide energy flux, (ii) internal-tide generation, and (iii) energy conversion to high modes, suggesting that tidally driven TKE dissipation may vary between 0 and 500 watts per meter of coastline on 3–5-day time scales. Comparison of observed in situ internal-tide generation and satellite-derived estimates of surface-tide energy loss is inconclusive.
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  • Kelly, Samuel M., Jonathan D. Nash, Kim I. Martini, Matthew H. Alford, Eric Kunze, 2012: The Cascade of Tidal Energy from Low to High Modes on a Continental Slope. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42, 1217–1232. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-11-0231.1
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  • 42
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  • 7
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  • This work was supported by National Science Foundation OCE-0350543 and OCE-0350647 and Office of Naval Research N00014-08-0991.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-08-31T00:02:10Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 NashJonathanCEOASCascadeTidalEnergy.pdf: 8425822 bytes, checksum: 1a66da8ea64ff66741fb43e5e6e101ff (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-07
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