Baroclinic Motions and Energetics as Measured by Altimeters
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Small surface displacements appearing in tide gauge and altimetric records are used to detect hydrostatic baroclinic modes in the ocean. Those deflections are a small fraction of the interior isopycnal vertical displacements and are dependent directly upon the in situ stratification. Conversion of surface height to interior amplitudes and energies encounters significant spatial and seasonal shifts that need to be accounted for in quantitative use. This technical article analyzes the global-scale spatial variations in the relationship between surface deflections and interior motions. Similar considerations make it possible to use altimetric data to estimate the deep interior temperature variability as a function of position, calculations having a strong influence on abyssal trend determination in the presence of eddies.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
American Meteorological Society
Wunsch, Carl. “Baroclinic Motions and Energetics as Measured by Altimeters.” Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 30, no. 1 (January 2013): 140-150. © 2013 American Meteorological Society
Final published version