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The lifecycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

The lifecycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
The lifecycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
The lifecycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) sector south of the Azores is investigated using in situ, a high-resolution mooring and microstructure profiler, and satellite data, in combination with a theoretical model of barotropic-to-baroclinic tidal energy conversion. The mooring analysis reveals that the internal-tide horizontal energy flux is dominated by mode 1, and that energy density is more distributed among modes 1-10. Most modes are compatible with an interpretation in terms of standing internal tides, suggesting that they result from interactions between waves generated over the MAR. Internal tide energy is thus concentrated above the ridge and is eventually available for local diapycnal mixing, as endorsed by the elevated rates of turbulent energy dissipation, ε, estimated from microstructure measurements. A spring-neap modulation of energy density on the MAR is found to originate from the remote generation and radiation of strong mode-1 internal tides from the Atlantis Meteor Seamount Complex. Similar fortnightly variability of a factor of 2 is observed in ε, but this signal’s origin cannot be determined unambiguously. A regional tidal energy budget highlights the significance of high-mode generation, with 81% of the energy lost by the barotropic tide being converted into modes > 1, and only 9% into mode 1. This has important implications for the fraction of local dissipation to the total energy conversion, q, which is regionally estimated to be ~0.5. This result is in stark contrast with the Hawaiian Ridge system, where the radiation of mode-1 internal tides accounts for 30% of the regional energy conversion, and q < 0.25.
0022-3670
61-80
Vic, Clement
408e7f4a-468f-4139-90a6-3a95228ad758
Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Green, J.A. Mattias
8996542a-c358-4c2a-bf57-77892943f491
Spingys, Carl
8afecaad-9a5a-4713-949c-b47501498363
Forryan, Alexander
4e753ae9-7f12-495f-933a-2c5a1f554a0e
Zhao, Zhongxiang
c00ead2b-cfea-46d0-8883-b226e792c29d
Sharples, Jonathan
5a1770ff-42d6-45eb-a1d9-7bec1d59c21d
Vic, Clement
408e7f4a-468f-4139-90a6-3a95228ad758
Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Green, J.A. Mattias
8996542a-c358-4c2a-bf57-77892943f491
Spingys, Carl
8afecaad-9a5a-4713-949c-b47501498363
Forryan, Alexander
4e753ae9-7f12-495f-933a-2c5a1f554a0e
Zhao, Zhongxiang
c00ead2b-cfea-46d0-8883-b226e792c29d
Sharples, Jonathan
5a1770ff-42d6-45eb-a1d9-7bec1d59c21d

Vic, Clement, Naveira Garabato, Alberto C., Green, J.A. Mattias, Spingys, Carl, Forryan, Alexander, Zhao, Zhongxiang and Sharples, Jonathan (2018) The lifecycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48 (1), 61-80. (doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0121.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The lifecycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) sector south of the Azores is investigated using in situ, a high-resolution mooring and microstructure profiler, and satellite data, in combination with a theoretical model of barotropic-to-baroclinic tidal energy conversion. The mooring analysis reveals that the internal-tide horizontal energy flux is dominated by mode 1, and that energy density is more distributed among modes 1-10. Most modes are compatible with an interpretation in terms of standing internal tides, suggesting that they result from interactions between waves generated over the MAR. Internal tide energy is thus concentrated above the ridge and is eventually available for local diapycnal mixing, as endorsed by the elevated rates of turbulent energy dissipation, ε, estimated from microstructure measurements. A spring-neap modulation of energy density on the MAR is found to originate from the remote generation and radiation of strong mode-1 internal tides from the Atlantis Meteor Seamount Complex. Similar fortnightly variability of a factor of 2 is observed in ε, but this signal’s origin cannot be determined unambiguously. A regional tidal energy budget highlights the significance of high-mode generation, with 81% of the energy lost by the barotropic tide being converted into modes > 1, and only 9% into mode 1. This has important implications for the fraction of local dissipation to the total energy conversion, q, which is regionally estimated to be ~0.5. This result is in stark contrast with the Hawaiian Ridge system, where the radiation of mode-1 internal tides accounts for 30% of the regional energy conversion, and q < 0.25.

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Vic_etal_JPO2017eor - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 7 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 January 2018
Published date: January 2018

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Local EPrints ID: 415541
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415541
ISSN: 0022-3670
PURE UUID: 7d2fa4c3-b73b-40f2-b6cf-596328697f21

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Date deposited: 15 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 20:48

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