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Tidal currents of the Ross Sea and their time stability
Johnson, E.S.; Van Woert, M.L. (2006). Tidal currents of the Ross Sea and their time stability. Antarctic Science 18(1): 141-154
In: Antarctic Science. Cambridge University Press: Oxford. ISSN 0954-1020, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Johnson, E.S.
  • Van Woert, M.L.

    Current measurements obtained from a sparse array of moorings on the Ross Continental Shelf during the 1980 and 90s are analysed for their tidal constituents. Diurnal (K1 and O1) tides are about five times stronger than semi-diurnal tides, and are strongest near the shelf break in agreement with recent model results. At some energetic locations the diurnal tides are significantly weaker at depth, presumably due to bottom friction. Complex demodulation analysis shows that at some locations the tidal response varies significantly in time. This time variability rises markedly above the noise floor expected from the spectral continuum between tidal bands, and does not scale with tidal bandwidth as would be expected of broadband noise. Further its magnitude is generally proportional to the associated tidal constituent, indicating that it is truly a varying tidal response. Space scales of this tidal instability were not resolved but are less than 150 km, while time scales appear mostly seasonal to interannual. The rms magnitude of the unstable response can be 1/3 of a given component’s mean magnitude, placing substantial limits on the ability of prognostic or even data assimilative models to accurately predict these tides for any specific time period.

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