14D.6 Statistical representation of equatorial waves and tropical instability waves in the Pacific Ocean

Thursday, 1 May 2008: 11:30 AM
Palms I (Wyndham Orlando Resort)
Toshiaki Shinoda, NRL, Stennis Space Center, MS; and G. Kiladis and P. E. Roundy

Sea surface height (SSH), sea surface temperature (SST), and surface currents derived from satellite observations are analyzed to investigate signals of Kelvin and tropical instability waves (TIWs) in the Pacific Ocean. A wavenumber-frequency spectral analysis of SSH and SST anomalies was performed in order to examine their space and time variability. Significant spectral peaks along the dispersion curves of the first baroclinic mode Rossby and Kelvin waves are found in the SSH spectrum, indicating that the analysis can effectively identify the signals of equatorial waves in the upper ocean. A prominent peak in SSH fields at around 33 days and 1500 km wavelength along the Rossby wave dispersion curve is evident, and a similar peak is also found in SST fields. This upper ocean variability on these space and time scales is shown to be associated with TIWs. The spatial structure of 33-day TIWs is further described based on an analysis of time series filtered in the frequency-wavenumber domain. The maximum variability of SSH associated with TIW is located around 5N, 130W, while that of SST is found around 2N, 100W. The phase relationship between SST, and surface velocity associated with TIWs is described based on a cross-correlation analysis. Also, the interannual variability of TIW activity is compared with that of ENSO, showing a moderate correlation.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner