Nonlinear internal waves on the continental shelf: observations and KdV solutions Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/jd473094j

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  • Numerical solutions of the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) and extended Korteweg-de Vries (eKdV) equations are used to model the transformation of a sinusoidal internal tide as it propagates across the continental shelf. The ocean is idealized as being a two-layer fluid, justified by the fact that most of the oceanic internal wave signal is contained in the gravest mode. The model accounts for nonlinear and dispersive effects but neglects friction, rotation, and mean shear. The KdV model is run for a variety of idealized topography and stratification to understand the role of the nonlinear and dispersive effects. In all model solutions the internal tide steepens forming a sharp front. A packet of nonlinear solitary-like waves evolve from the front. A comparison between KdV and eKdV solutions are explored. The model results for realistic topography and stratification are compared with observations made at moorings off Massachusetts in the Mid Atlantic Bight, and close to shore off Oceanside, California. Several features observed in the data are also found in the model results. Differences between theory and mooring observations are discussed.
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