Quantifying the Impact of Nonlinear Internal Waves on the Marine Atmospheric Surface Layer
Ortiz-Suslow, David G.
Paolo, Tony de
Shearman, R. Kipp
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In the coastal environment, the oceanic flow over varying bathymetry can displace the isopycnal surfaces and, thus, generate nonlinear internal waves. These high frequency waves can propagate across large distances and over their lifetime significantly influence local currents and turbulence within a coastal region. These waves also create a common phenomenon that is recognized by even a casual observer: smooth, quasilinear bands of water that disrupt the typically rippled sea surface. While NIWs are an important oceanic process and their surface expression has been characterized and discussed for decades, investigators have not linked the presence of internal wave-driven surface roughness to an atmospheric response. Here we use a combination of oceanic and atmospheric measurements, as well as ocean surface visualization, to show that NIWs can alter the flow within the MASL and the subsequent momentum flux across the air-sea interface, at the dominant temporal-spatial scales of the NIWs. Our measurements were collected from the FLIP, which was deployed as part of the Coupled Air Sea Processes and Electromagnetic ducting Research (CASPER) West Coast field campaign. Using a thermistor chain, X band marine radar, upward- and downward-looking ADCP, as well as a visual field camera imaging the ocean surface near FLIP, we were able to identify several NIW events and track individual waves incident to the platform. This information was used to isolate the atmospheric response, as captured by a profile of meteorological flux sensors installed on a mast that was deployed from FLIP's boom. The observed NIW-interactions were found in multiple cases with different MASL conditions and internal wave properties. In the context of CASPER, the surface roughness associated with NIWs represents a persistent, quasi-Lagrangian heterogeneity that may impact the atmospheric gradients, which in turn modulates the index of refraction and the propagation of electromagnetic radiation.
2019 IEEE/OES Twelfth Current, Waves and Turbulence Measurement (CWTM)The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1109/CWTM43797.2019.8955282
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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