Internal tides and waves near the continental shelf edge

Huthnance, J.M. ORCID: 1989 Internal tides and waves near the continental shelf edge. Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, 48 (1-3). 81-106.

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The subject is reviewed from the viewpoints of theory, internal tide and wave structure and their implications. A wider theoretical context suggests scope for further investigation of natural or nearly-trapped forms above the inertial frequency. Although internal tides in many locations are observed to have first-mode vertical structure, higher modes are seen offshore from shallow shelf-break forcing and for particular Froude numbers, and may be expected locally near generation. Bottom intensification is often observed where the sea floor matches the characteristic slope. Solitons form from internal tides of large amplitude or at large changes of depth. Internal tides and solitons are observed also at many sills and in straits, and to intensify in canyons. Non-linear effects of the waves, especially solitons, include the conveyance of water, nutrients, ‘‘mixing potential'’ etc. away from their source to other locations, and the generation of mean currents. The waves transfer energy and possibly heat between the ocean and shelf, may be a source of medium frequency waves on the shelf (periods of minutes) and can contribute to interior mixing and overturning, bottom stirring and sediment movement.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: POL Programmes
ISSN: 0309-1929
Date made live: 01 Jul 2013 15:55 +0 (UTC)

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