Statistics of internal tide bores and internal solitary waves observed on the inner continental shelf off Point Sal, California
Colosi, John A.
Suanda, Sutara H.
Freismuth, Tucker M.
MacMahan, Jamie H.
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Moored observations of temperature and current were collected on the inner continental shelf off Point Sal, California, between 9 June and 8 August 2015. The measurements consist of 10 moorings in total: 4 moorings each on the 50- and 30-m isobaths covering a 10-km along-shelf distance and an across-shelf section of moorings on the 50-, 40-, 30-, and 20-m isobaths covering a 5-km distance. Energetic, highly variable, and strongly dissipating transient wave events termed internal tide bores and internal solitary waves (ISWs) dominate the records. Simple models of the bore and ISW space–time behavior are implemented as a temperature match filter to detect events and estimate wave packet parameters as a function of time and mooring position. Wave-derived quantities include 1) group speed and direction; 2) time of arrival, time duration, vertical displacement amplitude, and waves per day; and 3) energy density, energy flux, and propagation loss. In total, over 1000 bore events and over 9000 ISW events were detected providing well-sampled statistical distributions. Statistics of the waves are rather insensitive to position along shelf but change markedly in the across-shelf direction. Two compelling results are 1) that the probability density functions for bore and ISW energy flux are nearly exponential, suggesting the importance of interference and 2) that wave propagation loss is proportional to energy flux, thus giving an exponential decay of energy flux toward shore with an e-folding scale of 2–2.4 km and average dissipation rates for bores and ISWs of 144 and ¯ ¹, respectively.
Manuscript received 6 March 2017, in final form 31 July 2017The article of record as published may be located at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JPO-D-17-0045.1
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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