Atmosphere Ocean Science Colloquium

Low Mode Internal Tide Observation and Propagation in a Turbulent Ocean

Speaker: Aurelien Ponte, Ifremer

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 3:30 p.m.


Tides are a significant source of internal waves in the ocean. These internal waves, which we commonly call 'internal tides', produce variations of sea level which are expected to complicate the interpretation of incoming high resolution altimetric missions (SWOT). This symposium will first review how internal tides and internal waves in general can be observed experimentally, both from space and in situ. I will then introduce and discuss the concept of internal tide incoherence (with respect to astronomical forcings) which arises when internal tides crosses areas where a turbulent mesoscale activity is present. This incoherence affects our ability to predict the signature of internal tides on sea level and is directly relevant to missions such as SWOT. Finally, I will describe the dynamics that rules the propagation of a low-mode internal tide through a turbulent meandering jet. The underlying question of this description will be whether a dynamical model predicting the evolution of a low-mode internal tide through a turbulent ocean could be devised and at what cost.