Tidal and near-inertial internal waves over the Reykjanes Ridge

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Vic Clement2, Ferron Bruno3, Thierry VirginieORCID1, Mercier HerleORCID3, Lherminier PascaleORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, Plouzané, France
2 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, Plouzané, France
3 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, Plouzané, France
Source Journal Of Physical Oceanography (0022-3670) (American Meteorological Society), 2021-01 , Vol. 51 , N. 2 , P. 419-437
DOI 10.1175/JPO-D-20-0097.1
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) Diapycnal mixing, Inertia-gravity waves, Wave properties, Tides, In situ oceanic observations
Abstract

Internal waves in the semi-diurnal and near-inertial bands are investigated using an array of seven moorings located over the Reykjanes Ridge in a cross-ridge direction (57.6-59.1°N, 28.5-33.3°W). Continuous measurements of horizontal velocity and temperature for more than two years allow us to estimate the kinetic energy density and the energy fluxes of the waves. We found that there is a remarkable phase locking and linear relationship between the semi-diurnal energy density and the tidal energy conversion at the spring-neap cycle. The energy-to-conversion ratio gives replenishment time scales of 4-5 days on the ridge top vs 7-9 days on the flanks. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the bulk of the tidal energy on the ridge comes from near local sources, with a redistribution of energy from the top to the flanks, which is endorsed by the energy fluxes oriented in the cross-ridge direction. Implications for tidally-driven energy dissipation are discussed. The time-averaged near-inertial kinetic energy is smaller than the semi-diurnal kinetic energy by a factor 2-3, but is much more variable in time. It features a strong seasonal cycle with a winter intensification and sub-seasonal peaks associated with local wind bursts. The ratio of energy to wind work gives replenishment time scales of 13-15 days, which is consistent with the short time scales of observed variability of near-inertial energy. Finally, in the upper ocean (1 km), the highest levels of near-inertial energy are preferentially found in anticyclonic structures, with a twofold increase compared to cyclonic structures, illustrating the funneling effect of anticyclones.

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