Internal tides, waves below the ocean's surface that propagate at tidal frequencies, play an important role in ocean mixing but can be difficult to detect and study.
Holbrook et al. found they can detect these waves with seismic imaging. Using seismic data acquired in the Norwegian Sea, the authors observed bands of reflections that indicate internal tides.
The study is the first to show that seismic imaging can be used to detect internal tides and demonstrates that seismic oceanography could be an important tool in the study of ocean mixing.
The research appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Authors include W. Steven Holbrook, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming; Ilker Fer, Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen; Raymond W. Schmitt, Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
- Holbrook et al. Images of internal tides near the Norwegian continental slope. Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36L00D10 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038909
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