Local inertial oscillations in the surface ocean generated by time-varying winds

Chen, Shengli; Polton, Jeff A.; Hu, Jianyu; Xing, Jiuxing. 2015 Local inertial oscillations in the surface ocean generated by time-varying winds. Ocean Dynamics, 65 (12). 1633-1641. 10.1007/s10236-015-0899-6

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A new relationship is presented to give a review study on the evolution of inertial oscillations in the surface ocean locally generated by time-varying wind stress. The inertial oscillation is expressed as the superposition of a previous oscillation and a newly generated oscillation, which depends upon the time-varying wind stress. This relationship is employed to investigate some idealized wind change events. For a wind series varying temporally with different rates, the induced inertial oscillation is dominated by the wind with the greatest variation. The resonant wind, which rotates anti-cyclonically at the local inertial frequency with time, produces maximal amplitude of inertial oscillations, which grows monotonically. For the wind rotating at non-inertial frequencies, the responses vary periodically, with wind injecting inertial energy when it is in phase with the currents, but removing inertial energy when it is out of phase. The wind rotating anti-cyclonically with time is much more favorable to generate inertial oscillations than the cyclonic rotating wind. The wind with a frequency closer to the inertial frequency generates stronger inertial oscillations. For a diurnal wind, the induced inertial oscillation is dependent on latitude and is most significant at 30 °. This relationship is also applied to examine idealized moving cyclones. The inertial oscillation is much stronger on the right-hand side of the cyclone path than on the left-hand side (in the northern hemisphere). This is due to the wind being anti-cyclonic with time on the right-hand side, but cyclonic on the other side. The inertial oscillation varies with the cyclone translation speed. The optimal translation speed generating the greatest inertial oscillations is 2 m/s at the latitude of 10 ° and gradually increases to 6 m/s at the latitude of 30 °.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10236-015-0899-6
ISSN: 1616-7341
Additional Keywords: Inertial oscillations Wind Cyclone
Date made live: 24 Feb 2016 15:24 +0 (UTC)

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