National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1987

On the structure of low-frequency equatorial waves

McPhaden, M.J., J.A. Proehl, and L.M. Rothstein

J. Phys. Oceanogr., 17(9), 1555–1559, doi: 10.1175/1520-0485(1987)017<1555:OTSOLF>2.0.CO;2 (1987)

We examine the effects of realistically sheared mean currents on low baroclinic mode equatorial Kelvin and Rossby waves. Mean flows can induce significant small scale zonal velocity fluctuations near the surface, can reduce pressure variations near the surface relative to those at depth, and can shift zero crossings by 0(100 m). Thus the vertical structure of dynamical modes is different than that given by the traditional modal decomposition for waves in a resting ocean.

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