eCite Digital Repository

Internal tide generation by abyssal hills using analytical theory


Melet, A and Nikurashin, M and Muller, C and Falahat, S and Nycander, J and Timko, J and Arbic, BK and Goff, JA, Internal tide generation by abyssal hills using analytical theory, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, (11) pp. 6303-6318. ISSN 2169-9275 (2013) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2013JC009212


Internal tide driven mixing plays a key role in sustaining the deep ocean stratification and meridional overturning circulation. Internal tides can be generated by topographic horizontal scales ranging from hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers. State of the art topographic products barely resolve scales smaller than ~10 km in the deep ocean. On these scales abyssal hills dominate ocean floor roughness. The impact of abyssal hill roughness on internal-tide generation is evaluated in this study. The conversion of M2 barotropic to baroclinic tidal energy is calculated based on linear wave theory both in real and spectral space using the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission SRTM30_PLUS bathymetric product at 1/120 degree resolution with and without the addition of synthetic abyssal hill roughness. Internal tide generation by abyssal hills integrates to 0.1 TW globally or 0.03 TW when the energy flux is empirically corrected for supercritical slope (i.e., ~10% of the energy flux due to larger topographic scales resolved in standard products in both cases). The abyssal hill driven energy conversion is dominated by mid-ocean ridges, where abyssal hill roughness is large. Focusing on two regions located over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the East Pacific Rise, it is shown that regionally linear theory predicts an increase of the energy flux due to abyssal hills of up to 100% or 60% when an empirical correction for supercritical slopes is attempted. Therefore, abyssal hills, unresolved in state of the art topographic products, can have a strong impact on internal tide generation, especially over mid-ocean ridges.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:internal waves; tides; mixing; rough topography; abyssal hills
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:Nikurashin, M (Dr Maxim Nikurashin)
ID Code:87945
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2013-12-18
Last Modified:2022-08-30
Downloads:130 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page