Abstract's details

Temporal variability of the mode-1 M2 internal tide

Zhongxiang Zhao (University of Washington, United States)


Peter Rhines (School of Oceanography, University of Washington, United States)

Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Tides, internal tides and high-frequency processes

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: not provided


This work aims to (1) construct time-variable internal tide models accounting for the incoherent component and (2) monitor ocean heat change in the upper ocean over various time scales. For these goals, seasonal, annual and decadal variations of the mode-1 M2 internal tide are studied using 25 years of multisatellite altimeter data from 1992–2017. A series of global internal tide maps are constructed using subsetted altimeter data. A new mapping technique is employed to better suppress nontidal noise and retrieve westbound/eastbound internal tides. The resultant maps enable us to explore the temporal and spatial variability of internal tides (1- and 2-order derivatives). By dividing the data into two decades: 1992–2004 and 2005–2017, we construct two global internal tide fields that have almost identical spatial patterns. Interestingly, global statistical analysis reveals that there is a 6-degree phase difference between them (about 10 minutes in time), suggesting that the ocean stratification strengthened from the first to the second decade, which is mainly attributed to upper ocean warming. However, the phase difference is very complicated in space. In addition, four seasonal internal tide maps are constructed and all have similar spatial patterns. Systematic phase differences mainly occur in equatorial zones and marginal seas, consistent with the seasonal speed change of internal tides estimated from World Ocean Atlas 2013. We also construct global internal tides using yearly subsetted data. Due to limited data length and thus large uncertainties, annual variations are mainly studied in regions of strong internal tides. Significant phase changes are observed to be associated with numerous long-range internal tidal beams in different years.


Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
The Gallery Tue, Oct 22 2019,16:15 Tue, Oct 22 2019,18:00
The Gallery Thu, Oct 24 2019,14:00 Thu, Oct 24 2019,15:45
Zhongxiang Zhao
University of Washington
United States