Enhanced vertical propagation of storm-induced near-inertial energy in an eddying ocean channel model

Xiaoming Zhai, Richard J. Greatbatch, J. Zhao

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The interaction between inertial oscillations generated by a storm and a mesoscale eddy field is studied using a Southern Ocean channel model. It is shown that the leakage of near-inertial energy out of the surface layer is strongly enhanced by the presence of the eddies, with the anticyclonic eddies acting as a conduit to the deep ocean. Given the ubiquity of the atmospheric storm tracks (a source of near-inertial energy for the ocean) and regions of strong ocean mesoscale variability, we argue that this effect could be important for understanding pathways by which near-inertial energy enters the ocean and is ultimately available for mixing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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