Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 25, Issue 2

2012, Oceanography 25(2):108–123, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2012.46

The Generation of Nonlinear Internal Waves

Authors | Abstract | Full Article | Citation | References


Christopher R. Jackson | Global Ocean Associates, Alexandria, VA, USA

José C.B. da Silva | Department of Geosciences, Environment and Spatial Planning and Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR), University of Porto, Portugal, and Guest Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA

Gus Jeans | Oceanalysis, Wallingford, UK



Nonlinear internal waves are found in many parts of the world ocean. Their widespread distribution is a result of their origin in the barotropic tide and in the variety of ways they can be generated, including by lee waves, tidal beams, resonance, plumes, and the transformation of the internal tide. The differing generation mechanisms and diversity of generation locations and conditions all combine to produce waves that range in scale from a few tens of meters to kilometers, but with all properly described by solitary wave theory. The ability of oceanic nonlinear internal waves to persist for days after generation and the key role internal waves play in connecting large-scale tides to smaller-scale turbulence make them important for understanding the ocean environment.


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Jackson, C.R., J.C.B. da Silva, and G. Jeans. 2012. The generation of nonlinear internal waves. Oceanography 25(2):108–123, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2012.46.



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