The Lifecycle of Semidiurnal Internal Tides over the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Type Article
Date 2018-01
Language English
Author(s) Vic ClementORCID1, Garabato Alberto C. Naveira1, Green J. A. Mattias2, Spingys CarlORCID1, Forryan Alexander1, Zhao ZhongxiangORCID3, Sharples Jonathan4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Southampton, Natl Oceanog Ctr, Southampton, Hants, England.
2 : Bangor Univ, Sch Ocean Sci, Menai Bridge, Gwynedd, Wales.
3 : Univ Washington, Appl Phys Lab, Seattle, WA 98105 USA.
4 : Univ Liverpool, Sch Environm Sci, Liverpool, Merseyside, England.
Source Journal Of Physical Oceanography (0022-3670) (Amer Meteorological Soc), 2018-01 , Vol. 48 , N. 1 , P. 61-80
DOI 10.1175/JPO-D-17-0121.1
WOS© Times Cited 30
Keyword(s) North Atlantic Ocean, Diapycnal mixing, Internal waves, Mixing, In situ oceanic observations, Satellite observations

The life cycle of semidiurnal internal tides over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) sector south of the Azores is investigated using in situ, a high-resolution mooring and microstructure profiler, and satellite data, in combination with a theoretical model of barotropic-to-baroclinic tidal energy conversion. The mooring analysis reveals that the internal tide horizontal energy flux is dominated by mode 1 and that energy density is more distributed among modes 1-10. Most modes are compatible with an interpretation in terms of standing internal tides, suggesting that they result from interactions between waves generated over the MAR. Internal tide energy is thus concentrated above the ridge and is eventually available for local diapycnal mixing, as endorsed by the elevated rates of turbulent energy dissipation epsilon estimated from microstructure measurements. A spring-neap modulation of energy density on the MAR is found to originate from the remote generation and radiation of strong mode-1 internal tides from the Atlantis-Meteor Seamount Complex. Similar fortnightly variability of a factor of 2 is observed in epsilon, but this signal's origin cannot be determined unambiguously. A regional tidal energy budget highlights the significance of high-mode generation, with 81% of the energy lost by the barotropic tide being converted into modes >1 and only 9% into mode 1. This has important implications for the fraction (q) of local dissipation to the total energy conversion, which is regionally estimated to be similar to 0.5. This result is in stark contrast with the Hawaiian Ridge system, where the radiation of mode-1 internal tides accounts for 30% of the regional energy conversion, and q<0.25.

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Vic Clement, Garabato Alberto C. Naveira, Green J. A. Mattias, Spingys Carl, Forryan Alexander, Zhao Zhongxiang, Sharples Jonathan (2018). The Lifecycle of Semidiurnal Internal Tides over the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Journal Of Physical Oceanography, 48(1), 61-80. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :