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Use of ATSR data and ocean modelling to investigate instability waves in the tropical Pacific ocean (Lawrence et al.)
Use of ATSR data and ocean modelling to investigate instability waves in the tropical Pacific ocean
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Use of ATSR data and ocean modelling to investigate instability waves in the tropical Pacific ocean

Abstract

S.P. Lawrence* and M.R. Allen+

*University of Leicester
 University Road
 Leicester LE1 7RH, UK

+Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory,
 Chilton,
 Oxfordshire OX13 3DB, UK


Sea-surface temperature measurements of the tropical Pacific ocean obtained
from space show evidence of instability wave activity during the July-April
seasons of 1992 through to 1995.  Similar wave activity in an ocean general
circulation model forced with ECMWF wind stresses for 1992 has shown good
phase correspondence when compared with observation.  The indication is
that this is due to a non-linear wave interaction between the
instability waves and sub-surface Rossby waves.

These previous results are extended by forcing the model with analysed
wind stresses through to the end of 1995.  The stresses are updated
daily to generate high-frequency variability in the model.  A
comparison is made between the model results and ATSR-1/2 data, as
well as with TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS1/2 altimeter data.  Further
analysis of a possible phase-locking mechanism between Rossby waves
and instability waves is reported.

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry