Preliminary simulations of internal waves and mixing generated by finite amplitude tidal flow over isolated topography

S. Legg, K.M.H. Huijts

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Much recent observational evidence suggests that energy from the barotropic tides can be used for mixing in the deep ocean. Here the process of internal-tide generation and dissipation by tidal flow over an isolated Gaussian topography is examined, using two-dimensional numerical simulations employing the MITgcm. Four different topographies are considered, for five different amplitudes of barotropic forcing, thereby allowing a variety of combinations of key nondimensional parameters. While much recent attention has focused on the role of relative topographic steepness and height in modifying the rate of conversion of energy from barotropic to baroclinic modes, here attention is focused on parameters dependent on the flow amplitude. For narrow topography, large amplitude forcing gives rise to baroclinic responses at higher harmonics of the forcing frequency. Tall narrow topographies are found to be the most conducive to mixing. Dissipation rates in these calculations are most efficient for the narrowest topography.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)140-156
Number of pages17
JournalDeep-Sea Research. Part II: topical studies in oceanography
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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