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Journal articles

Focusing of internal tides by near-inertial waves

yannis Cuypers 1 Pascale Bouruet-Aubertot 1 Jérôme Vialard 2 Michael J. Mcphaden 3 
1 IPSO - Interactions et Processus au sein de la couche de Surface Océanique
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
2 PARVATI - Processus de la variabilité climatique tropicale et impacts
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
Abstract : The refraction of internal waves by lower-frequency near-inertial waves has been predicted theoretically, but never observed before. Here, we report observations of semi-diurnal internal tides generated by the rough topography of the Central Indian Ridge, in the presence of a strong, lower-frequency near-inertial wave field generated by a tropical storm. The semi-diurnal internal tide energy is trapped within upward propagating bands with a periodicity close to the inertial period. A ray-tracing model suggests that this trapping results from the internal tide refraction by the shear associated with near-inertial waves. This yields a strong increase of the internal tide energy and shear in space-time regions where the background flow focuses the rays, leading to the formation of caustics. This mechanism may increase vertical mixing generated by baroclinic tides in the vicinity of mid-ocean ridges in tropical regions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 11:47:18 AM
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yannis Cuypers, Pascale Bouruet-Aubertot, Jérôme Vialard, Michael J. Mcphaden. Focusing of internal tides by near-inertial waves. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2017, 44 (5), pp.2398-2406. ⟨10.1002/2017GL072625⟩. ⟨hal-01489205⟩

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