Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 10 Issue 02

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Volume 10, No. 2
Pages 60 - 63


Internal Wave-Driven Surface Currents From HF Radar

By Lynn K. Shay  
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Surface current observations from high-frequency (HF) radar have revealed that not only are the low-frequency and tidal currents resolved by the measurement, higher-frequency motions are also contained within the signals. These higher frequency current oscillations are within the internal wave continuum from the buoyancy to the inertial frequencies, including the excitation of semidiurnal internal tides forced by a barotropic tide propagating over the shelf-break (Baines, 1986: Paduan and Cook, 1997). Another complicating feature in the coastal regime is oceanic frontal structure that significantly influences internal wave variability because of the background vorticity fields (Mooers, 1975: Kunze, 1985). However, little is known about the internal wave interactions with coastal ocean fronts where these vorticities may be considerably larger than in the deep ocean because of the larger density contrast between the water masses. Synoptic observations of the horizontal flow structure from HF radar provides the spatial context for moored and shipbased measurements to assess the impact of coastal fronts on the internal wave climate.


Shay, L.K. 1997. Internal wave-driven surface currents from HF radar. Oceanography 10(2):60–63, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1997.24.

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