Internal tides in Monterey Submarine Canyon

Rob A. Hall, Glenn S. Carter

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The M2 internal tide in Monterey Submarine Canyon is simulated using a modified version of the Princeton Ocean Model. Most of the internal tide energy entering the canyon is generated to the south, on Sur Slope and at the head of Carmel Canyon. The internal tide is topographically steered around the large canyon meanders. Depth-integrated baroclinic energy fluxes are up canyon and largest near the canyon axis, up to 1.5 kW m-1 at the mouth of the upper canyon and increasing to over 4 kW m-1 around Monterey and San Gregorio Meanders. The up-canyon energy flux is bottom intensified, suggesting that topographic focusing occurs. Net along-canyon energy flux decreases almost monotonically from 9 MW at the canyon mouth to 1 MW at Gooseneck Meander, implying that high levels of internal tide dissipation occur. The depth-integrated energy flux across the 200-m isobath is order 10 W m-1 along the majority of the canyon rim but increases by over an order of magnitude near the canyon head, where internal tide energy escapes onto the shelf. Reducing the size of the model domain to exclude remote areas of high barotropic-to-baroclinic energy conversion decreases the depth-integrated energy flux in the upper canyon by 20%. However, quantifying the role of remote internal tide generation sites is complicated by a pressure perturbation feedback between baroclinic energy flux and barotropic-to-baroclinic energy conversion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-204
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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