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The role of coastal Kelvin waves on the northeast Pacific Ocean
Johnson, M.A.; O'Brien, J.J. (1990). The role of coastal Kelvin waves on the northeast Pacific Ocean, in: Nihoul, J.C.J. (Ed.) Coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling: proceedings of the 21th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics, Liège, May 8-12, 1989. Journal of Marine Systems, 1(1-3): pp. 29-38
In: Nihoul, J.C.J. (Ed.) (1990). Coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling: proceedings of the 21th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics, Liège, May 8-12, 1989. Journal of Marine Systems, 1(1-3). Elsevier Scientific: Amsterdam. 313 pp., more
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Johnson, M.A.
  • O'Brien, J.J.

Abstract
    Kelvin waves excited by the wind in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean propagate eastward to the boundary and then poleward along the coast. Poleward propagating coastal Kelvin waves produce a signal that propagates away from the coast as westward propagating Rossby waves with amplitude proportional to the amplitude of the passing Kelvin wave. The frequency of the Kelvin wave signal sets the frequency of the Rossby response and the possible wavelengths through the Rossby dispersion relation. This paper examines the role of coastal Kelvin waves in the mid-latitude response of the ocean in general, and the mid-latitude 1982-1983 El Nino response in particular, using two primitive equation numerical models of the equatorial and northeast Pacific oceans. Model results show, (1) that the coastal Kelvin wave initializes and defines the frequency of the offshore propagating Rossby wave (2) that the Kelvin-Rossby response is fundamental to the development of the mid-latitude 1982-1983 El Nino and, (3) that Rossby waves at 30° N extend the signal seaward from the coast several thousand kilometers, although the Rossby wave signal loses its identity in the region of the California Current several hundred kilometers from the coast.

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