The Effects of Remote Internal Tides on Continental Slope Internal Tide Generation

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Internal tide generation at sloping topography is nominally determined by the local slope geometry, density stratification, and tidal forcing. Recent global ocean models have revealed that remotely generated internal tides (RITs) can also influence locally generated internal tides (LITs). Field measurements with through-the-water column moorings on the southern portion of the Australian North West Shelf (NWS) suggested that RITs led to local regions with either positive or negative barotropic to baroclinic energy conversion. Three-dimensional numerical simulations were used to examine the role of RITs on local internal tide climatology on the inner slope and shelf portion of the NWS. The model demonstrated the principle remote generation site was the western portion of the offshore Exmouth Plateau. Extending the model domain to include this offshore plateau region increased the local net energy conversion on the inner shelf by 13.5% and on the slope by 8%. Simulations using an idealized 2D model configuration aligned along the principal direction of RIT propagation demonstrated that the sign and magnitude of the local energy conversion was dependent on the distance between the remote and local generation sites, the phase difference between the local barotropic tide and the RIT, and the amplitude of both the local barotropic tide and the RIT. For RITs with a low-wave Froude number (Fr <0.05), where Fr is the ratio of the internal wave baroclinic velocity to the linear wave speed, the conversion rates were consistent with kinematic predictions based on the phase difference only. For stronger flows with Fr > 0.05, the conversion rates showed a nonlinear dependence on Fr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1651-1668
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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