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Volume 24, issue 4 | Copyright
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 24, 645-660, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-24-645-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 Oct 2017

Research article | 19 Oct 2017

Kinematic parameters of internal waves of the second mode in the South China Sea

Oxana Kurkina1, Tatyana Talipova1,2, Tarmo Soomere3,4, Ayrat Giniyatullin1, and Andrey Kurkin1 Oxana Kurkina et al.
  • 1Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University n.a. R.E. Alekseev, Nizhny Novgorod, 603950, Russia
  • 2Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny Novgorod, 603950, Russia
  • 3Department of Cybernetics, School of Science, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, 12618, Estonia
  • 4Estonian Academy of Sciences, Kohtu 6, Tallinn, 10130, Estonia

Abstract. Spatial distributions of the main properties of the mode function and kinematic and non-linear parameters of internal waves of the second mode are derived for the South China Sea for typical summer conditions in July. The calculations are based on the Generalized Digital Environmental Model (GDEM) climatology of hydrological variables, from which the local stratification is evaluated. The focus is on the phase speed of long internal waves and the coefficients at the dispersive, quadratic and cubic terms of the weakly non-linear Gardner model. Spatial distributions of these parameters, except for the coefficient at the cubic term, are qualitatively similar for waves of both modes. The dispersive term of Gardner's equation and phase speed for internal waves of the second mode are about a quarter and half, respectively, of those for waves of the first mode. Similarly to the waves of the first mode, the coefficients at the quadratic and cubic terms of Gardner's equation are practically independent of water depth. In contrast to the waves of the first mode, for waves of the second mode the quadratic term is mostly negative. The results can serve as a basis for expressing estimates of the expected parameters of internal waves for the South China Sea.

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Large internal waves may be a great danger to offshore structures. The breaking of such waves may strongly modify the seabed. Their core properties depend on how temperature and salinity vary in the water column. These variations are represented by three vertical locations and four coefficients of the relevant equation. We established how these seven quantities vary in the South China Sea for waves of the second mode (which create compressions or expansions of the intermediate water layer).
Large internal waves may be a great danger to offshore structures. The breaking of such waves...
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