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Influence of open boundary conditions and sill height upon seiche motion in a gulf

Davies, Alan; Xing, Jiuxing; Willmott, Andrew. 2009 Influence of open boundary conditions and sill height upon seiche motion in a gulf. Ocean Dynamics, 59 (6). 863-879. 10.1007/s10236-009-0216-3

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Abstract/Summary

A cross-sectional model of an idealised constant depth gulf with a sill at its entrance, connected to a deep ocean, is used to examine the barotropic and baroclinic response of the region to wind forcing. The role of the oceanic boundary condition is also considered. Calculations show that in the case of a tall sill, where the pycnocline intersects the sill, the baroclinic response of the gulf is similar to that of a lake, and internal waves cannot radiate energy out of the gulf. The barotropic response shows free surface oscillations, with nodes located close to the centre of the oceanic basin and entrance to the gulf, with associated barotropic resonant periods. As the sill height is reduced, baroclinic wave energy is radiated from the gulf into the ocean, and the form of the baroclinic response changes from a standing wave (tall sill) as in a lake to a progressive wave (no sill). The location of sea surface elevation nodes and resonant periods changes as the sill height is reduced. Calculations of the barotropic resonant periods with and without stratification could not determine if they were influenced by the presence of stratification, although published analytical theory suggests that they should be able to when energy is lost from the gulf by internal wave radiation. This inability to detect changes in barotropic resonant period due to stratification effects is due to the small change in resonant frequency produced by baroclinic effects, as shown by analytical results, and the broad peak nature of the computed resonant frequency. In the case of a closed offshore boundary (an offshore island), there is a stronger and narrower energy peak at the resonant frequency than when a barotropic radiation condition is applied. However, the influence of stratification upon the resonant frequency could not be accurately determined. Although the offshore boundary was well removed from the gulf to such an extent that any baroclinic waves reflected from it could not reach the gulf within the integration period, it did, however, slightly influence the gulf baroclinic response due to its influence on the barotropic response.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10236-009-0216-3
Programmes: Oceans 2025 > Climate, ocean circulation and sea level
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 17 Aug 2009 08:28
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7918

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