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Observations of internal wave coherence in the deep ocean

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  • Astronomy


An experiment is described which was aimed at testing assumptions and predictions of the internal wave model suggested by Garrett and Munk (1972). Two moorings were set at a depth of 2660 m with a horizontal separation of 920 m only. The results of current and temperature measurements on these moorings indicate that the field of motion is probably horizontally isotropic in the inertio-gravitational wave band. The limiting frequency for horizontal coherence is three times the frequency predicted by the theoretical model. The phase of the vertical coherence is stable over a wide frequency range and the coherence decreases towards higher frequencies. This may be due to coherent motion contaminated by uncorrelated noise at high frequencies. The results are basically in agreement with the theoretical model when taking a number of modes below 10.

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