A modal analysis of currents in a Pacific atoll lagoon
Palmer, Burton T.
Carter, Everett J.
Thornton, Edward B.
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The results of an initial quantitative study to define the physical oceanography of Johnston Atoll's lagoon circulation is presented. A bathymetric data base of the Island has been manually digitized from Navigational charts. A numerical model designed to predict the seiche modes of basins in two and three dimensions, in elliptic and Cartesian coordinates is developed, which seems to represent accurately the free modes of oscillation observed in current meter records. The numerical model is suitable for applications using a personal computer equipped with MATLAB (4.0) or later, and has applicability to basins of arbitrary shape in two dimensions, and rectangular, elliptical or circular symmetry in three dimensions. An analysis of currents within the lagoon at Johnston Atoll shows highly polarized tidal flow, phase locked to the diumal tide. Spectral energy content of current meter records show six fundamental oscillatory modes and harmonics of tidal components.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimitedIncludes supplementary material: Appendix contains documentation and computer code for the seiche model. A diskette containing the appendix is at Room 119, with call number P1439Includes supplementary material
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