Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1032
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1032
11 Apr 2024
 | 11 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The Seasonal Variability in the Semidiurnal Internal Tide; A Comparison between Sea Surface Height and Energetics

Harpreet Kaur, Maarten C. Buijsman, Zhongxiang Zhao, and Jay F. Shriver

Abstract. We investigate the seasonal variability of the semidiurnal internal tide steric sea surface height (SSSH) and energetics using 8-km global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) simulations with realistic forcing and satellite altimeter data. In numerous previous studies, SSSH has been used to explore the seasonal changes in internal tides. For the first time, we compare the seasonal variability of the semidiurnal internal tide SSSH with the seasonal variability of the semidiurnal baroclinic energetics. We explore the seasonal trends in SSSH variance, barotropic to baroclinic conversion rate, kinetic energy, available potential energy, and pressure flux for the semidiurnal internal tides. We find that the seasonal cycle of monthly semidiurnal SSSH variance in the Northern Hemisphere is out of phase with the Southern Hemisphere. This north-south phase difference and its timing are in agreement with altimetry. The amplitudes of the seasonal variability in SSSH variance are about 10–15 % of their annual-mean values when zonally averaged. The normalized amplitude of the seasonal variability is higher for the SSSH variance than for the energetics. The largest seasonal variability is observed in Georges Bank and the Arabian Sea, where the seasonal trends of monthly SSSH variance and energetics are in phase. However, outside these hotspots, the seasonal variability in semidiurnal energetics is out of phase with semidiurnal SSSH variance and a clear phase difference between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is lacking. While the seasonal variability in semidiurnal energy is driven by seasonal changes in barotropic to baroclinic conversion, semidiurnal SSSH variance is also modulated by seasonal changes in stratification. Surface intensified stratification at the end of summer enhances the surface perturbation pressures, which enhance the SSSH amplitudes.

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Harpreet Kaur, Maarten C. Buijsman, Zhongxiang Zhao, and Jay F. Shriver

Status: open (until 20 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Long-period tides', Paul PUKITE, 13 Apr 2024 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1032', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 May 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1032', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 May 2024 reply
Harpreet Kaur, Maarten C. Buijsman, Zhongxiang Zhao, and Jay F. Shriver
Harpreet Kaur, Maarten C. Buijsman, Zhongxiang Zhao, and Jay F. Shriver

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Short summary
This study examines the seasonal variability in internal tide sea surface height in a global model simulation. We also compare this with altimetry and the seasonal variability in the internal tide energy terms. Georges Bank and the Arabian Sea show the strongest seasonal variability. This study also reveals that sea surface height may not be the most accurate indicator of the true seasonal variability of the internal tides because it is modulated by the seasonal variability in stratification.