Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 25 Issue 02

View Issue TOC
Volume 25, No. 2
Pages 52 - 55


Power Estimates Associated With Internal Tides From the Monterey Bay Area

By Steven M. Jachec  
Jump to
Article Abstract Citation References Copyright & Usage
Article Abstract

Numerical modeling has proven to be a useful method for simulating internal tides within the coastal ocean. Monterey Bay is a location that experiences energetic semidiurnal internal tides, and they are pronounced within Monterey Submarine Canyon. Numerical simulations and field measurements indicate that the baroclinic energy fluxes there are spatially variable, leading to locations of positive and negative baroclinic energy flux divergences. Results derived from a SUNTANS (Stanford Unstructured Nonhydrostatic Terrain-following Adaptive Navier-Stokes Simulator) model simulation show that Monterey Submarine Canyon’s baroclinic power is net dissipative (–8.3 MW). However, sources and sinks exist throughout the canyon, and they permeate the study domain. One way to understand internal tide power is related to the ratio of the bathymetric slope (γ) to the linear internal wave characteristic slope (s). Results show large and consistent integrated surpluses of baroclinic power between 0.5 ≤ γ/s ≤ 5.5 (includes the critical ratio); some net surpluses exist when γ/s > 5.5, but are mixed with dissipative power results. When γ/s < 0.5, integrated power is net dissipative.


Jachec, S.M. 2012. Power estimates associated with internal tides from the Monterey Bay area. Oceanography 25(2):52–55, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2012.41.


Decloedt, T., and D.S. Luther. 2010. On a simple empirical parameterization of topography catalyzed diapycnal mixing in the abyssal ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography 40:487–508, https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JPO4275.1.

Fringer, O.B., M.G. Gerritsen, and R.L. Street. 2006. An unstructured-grid, finite-volume, nonhydrostatic, parallel coastal ocean simulator. Ocean Modelling 14:139–173, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocemod.2006.03.006.

Hall, R.A., and G.S. Carter. 2011. Internal tides in Monterey Submarine Canyon. Journal of Physical Oceanography 41:186–204, https://doi.org/10.1175/2010JPO4471.1.

Hickey, B.M. 1995. Coastal submarine canyons. Pp. 95–110 in Proceedings of the ’Aha Huliko’a Hawaiian Workshop: Topographic Effects in the Ocean. University of Hawaii, Manoa, http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/PubServices/1995pdfs/TOC1995.html.

Holloway, P.E., and M.A. Merrifield. 1999. Internal tide generation by seamounts, ridges, and islands. Journal of Geophysical Research 104 (C11):25,937–25,951, https://doi.org/10.1029/1999JC900207.

Jachec, S.M. 2007. Understanding the evolution and energetics of internal tides within Monterey Bay via numerical simulations. PhD thesis, Stanford University.

Jachec, S.M., O.B. Fringer, M.G. Gerritsen, and R.L. Street. 2006. Numerical simulation of internal tides and the resulting energetics within Monterey Bay and the surrounding area. Geophysical Research Letters 33, L12605, https://doi.org/10.1029/2006GL026314.

Jachec, S.M., O.B. Fringer, R.L. Street, and M.G. Gerritsen. 2007. Effects of grid resolution on the simulation of internal tides. International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering 17(2):105–111.

Kang, D., and O.B. Fringer. 2012. Energetics of barotropic and baroclinic tides in the Monterey Bay area. Journal of Physical Oceanography 42:272–290, https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-11-039.1.

Kunze, E., L.K. Rosenfeld, G. Carter, and M.C. Gregg. 2002. Internal waves in Monterey Submarine Canyon. Journal of Physical Oceanography 32:1,890–1,913, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0485(2002)032<1890:IWIMSC>2.0.CO;2.

Legg, S. 2004. Internal tides generated on a corregated slope. Part II: Along-slope barotropic forcing. Journal of Physical Oceanography 34:1,824–1,838, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0485(2004)034<1824:ITGOAC>2.0.CO;2.

Petruncio, E.T., J.D. Paduan, and L.K. Rosenfeld. 2002. Numerical simulation of the internal tide in a submarine canyon. Ocean Modelling 4:221–248, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1463-5003(02)00002-1.

Petruncio, E.T., L.K. Rosenfeld, and J.D. Paduan. 1998. Observations of the internal tide in Monterey Canyon. Journal of Physical Oceanography 28:1,873–1,903, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0485(1998)028<1873:OOTITI>2.0.CO;2.

Polzin, K.L., J.M. Toole, J.R. Ledwell, and R.W. Schmitt. 1997. Spatial variability of turbulent mixing in the abyssal ocean. Science 276:306–328, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.276.5309.93.

Simmons, H.L., R.W. Hallberg, and B.K. Arbic. 2004. Internal wave generation in a global baroclinic tidal model. Deep-Sea Research Part II 51:3,043–3,068, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2004.09.015.

Wunsch, C., and R. Ferrari. 2004. Vertical mixing, energy, and the general circulation of the oceans. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 36:281–314, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.fluid.36.050802.122121.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.