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Theory and analysis of acoustic-gravity waves in a free-surface compressible and stratified ocean

  • Auclair, Francis
  • Debreu, Laurent
  • Duval, Emilie
  • Marchesiello, Patrick
  • Blayo, Eric
  • Hilt, Margot
Publication Date
Oct 05, 2020
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Waves propagate in a free-surface ocean due to compressibility and gravity (and surface tension at much smaller scale). Analytical solutions have long been derived independently for acoustic and gravity waves, i.e., acoustic waves or internal-gravity rays in an unbounded ocean, surface-gravity waves in a free-surface-ocean, and acoustic or internal modes in a bounded ocean. In the present study, capillarity waves and earth-rotation are neglected and a simple, unified model based on inner and boundary dispersion relations is derived for waves propagating in a compressible, stratified, free-surface ocean. Wave solutions are identified and visually analyzed in phase-space. Taylor developments are then carried out with respect to small parameters describing stratification and compressibility and are compared with numerical approximations of the intersection of inner and boundary dispersion surfaces. Finally, the model recovers the known approximations for swell, long-surface waves, internal-gravity rays, internal modes, acoustic waves or acoustic modes, and also provides modification of these solutions due to stratification and compressibility.

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