Power estimates associated with internal tides from the Monterey Bay Area
Numerical modeling has proven to be a useful method for simulating internal tides within the coastal ocean. Monterey Bay is a location that experiences energetic semidiurnal internal tides, and they are pronounced within Monterey Submarine Canyon. Numerical simulations and field measurements indicate that the baroclinic energy fluxes there are spatially variable, leading to locations of positive and negative baroclinic energy flux divergences. Results derived from a SUNTANS (Stanford Unstructured Nonhydrostatic Terrain-following Adaptive Navier-Stokes Simulator) model simulation show that Monterey Submarine Canyon's baroclinic power is net dissipative (–8.3 MW). However, sources and sinks exist throughout the canyon, and they permeate the study domain. One way to understand internal tide power is related to the ratio of the bathymetric slope (γ) to the linear internal wave characteristic slope (s). Results show large and consistent integrated surpluses of baroclinic power between 0.5 ≤ γ/s ≤ 5.5 (includes the critical ratio); some net surpluses exist when γ/s > 5.5, but are mixed with dissipative power results. When γ/s < 0.5, integrated power is net dissipative.