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Internal tides

by ECOLA last modified Aug 29, 2014 03:53 PM

F. Lyard

Tides are one one the most ubiquitous and energetic processes in the global ocean.

Internal tides

Internal tides are mostly generated by the interaction of barotropic tidal currents with ocean topography slopes in presence of vertical density gradient (stratification). After bottom friction, internal tides generation is the second largest energy sink for barotropic tides (25% to 30% of tidal energy dissipation). Internal tides dynamics participates to the coupling of ocean circulation and barotropic tides, mainly through ocean mixing enhancements. Their modeling is one of the most challenging issue in comprehensive ocean dynamics simulations.

Vertical modes

Vertical modes decomposition can be used to characterize internal tides. In deep ocean region, first modes concentrate most of the IT energy.


M2 first internal mode wavelength (km) computed from ORCA-4 (B. Barnier et al.) climatology

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