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Generation of second-mode internal solitary waves during winter in the northern South China Sea

  • Jianjun Liang
  • Xiao-Ming LiEmail author
Article

Abstract

Field measurements of second-mode internal solitary waves (mode 2 ISWs) during the winter on the upper continental slope of the northern South China Sea were reported in Yang et al. (J Geophys Res 114, 2009), but their generation mechanism remains elusive. We investigated this issue with a multi-modal evolution model and theoretical analysis, which suggest that the observed mode 2 ISWs were generated by a shoaling mode 2 semidiurnal internal tide (IT). The results show that two groups of mode 2 ISWs usually appear within one semidiurnal tidal period, successively riding on expanded and subsequently compressed pycnoclines. The number of wave groups largely depends on the amplitudes of the ITs, and a larger IT produces larger and more mode 2 ISWs. Furthermore, intermodal coupling dominates the evolution of a mode 1 IT, highlighting the importance of considering mode scattering in the propagation of low-mode ITs. Finally, the barotropic body force is calculated, and we deduce that the mode 2 semidiurnal IT originates from the Luzon Strait.

Keywords

Second-mode internal solitary waves South China Sea 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The WOA13 product, ETOPO1 global relief model, TEOS-10 software, and the OTIS regional tidal solutions for the China Seas were downloaded from the websites at https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/woa13/, https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/global/global.html, http://www.teos-10.org, and http://volkov.oce.orst.edu/tides/region.html, respectively. The study was partially supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of Hainan Province Project (2016CXTD016), National Natural Science Foundation of China Project (41876201), and the Director Foundation of RADI. Finally, the authors wish to thank the two reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital EarthChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical ModelingQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Hainan Key Laboratory of Earth ObservationSanyaChina

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