Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 507–517 | Cite as

High-frequency internal wave motions at the ANTARES site in the deep Western Mediterranean

  • Hans van HarenEmail author
  • The ANTARES Collaboration


High-frequency internal wave motions of periods down to 20 min have been observed in a yearlong record from the deep Western Mediterranean, mainly in vertical currents. The observations were made using the ANTARES neutrino telescope infrastructure. One line of the telescope is instrumented with environmental monitoring devices, and in particular with an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler that was used to measure currents around 2,200 m. Such high-frequency internal waves are commonly observed much closer to the sea surface where the vertical density stratification is more stable than in the deep sea. In this paper, they are supported by the relatively large stratification following newly formed dense water. During the severe winters of 2005 and 2006, deep dense-water formation occurred in the Ligurian subbasin. Its collapse and spread over the sea floor across the basin remained detectable for at least 3 years as deduced from the present yearlong current record, which is from 2008. The observed high-frequency internal waves match the occasional density stratification observed in ∼1-m-thin layers using previous shipborne conductivity–temperature–depth measurements. Such layers and waves are relatively unusual in the deep Mediterranean, where commonly several hundreds-of-meters-thick near-homogeneous layers dominate. Such thick near-homogeneous layers provide about a half-decade narrow internal wave band around the inertial frequency (f). In contrast, the presently observed vertical currents occasionally show a “small-scale” internal wave band that is on average 1.5 decades wide, associated with thin-layer stratification. In spite of its relatively large width, this band still shows variance peaking near f rather than near the large-scale buoyancy frequency N (= 2.3–4.5f) and this variance is found to increase with increasing N.


High-frequency internal waves Deep Western Mediterranean Vertical current spectra with inertial peak Positive power law in stratification 



The CTD observations were made in the framework of “Gyroscop” and “Gyroscop-2” for which we acknowledge Claude Millot and the Netherlands Organisation for the Advancement of Scientific Research, NWO, and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS, for support (French–Dutch collaboration). The authors acknowledge the financial support of the funding agencies: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), Commission Européenne (FEDER fund and Marie Curie Program), Région Alsace (contrat CPER), Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Département du Var and Ville de La Seyne-sur-Mer, France; Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Germany; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy; Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM) and NWO, the Netherlands; Council of the President of the Russian Federation for young scientists and leading scientific schools supporting grants, Russia; National Authority for Scientific Research (ANCS -UEFISCDI), Romania; Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN), Prometeo of Generalitat Valenciana and MultiDark, Spain; Agence de l’Oriental and CNRST, Morocco. We also acknowledge the technical support of Ifremer, AIM, and Foselev Marine for the sea operation and the CC-IN2P3 for the computing facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)Den Burgthe Netherlands

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