Reduction of near-inertial energy through the dependence of wind stress on the ocean-surface velocity

Willi Rath, Richard J. Greatbatch, Xiaoming Zhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A realistic primitive-equation model of the Southern Ocean at eddying spatial resolution is used to examine the effect of ocean-surface-velocity dependence of the wind stress on the strength of near-inertial oscillations. Accounting for the ocean-surface-velocity dependence of the wind stress leads to a large reduction of wind-induced near-inertial energy of approximately 40% and of wind power input into the near-inertial frequency band of approximately 20%. A large part of this reduction can be explained by the leading-order modification to the wind stress if the ocean-surface velocity is included. The strength of the reduction is shown to be modulated by the inverse of the ocean-surface-mixed-layer depth. We conclude that the effect of surface-velocity dependence of the wind stress should be taken into account when estimating the wind-power input into the near-inertial frequency band and when estimating near-inertial energy levels in the ocean due to wind forcing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2761-2773
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research - Oceans
Volume118
Issue number6
Early online date4 Jun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • near-inertial oscillations
  • wind-stress parameterization
  • Southern Ocean
  • ocean-modeling

Cite this