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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2017-78
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
15 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG).
The evolution of mode-2 internal solitary waves modulated by background shear currents
Peiwen Zhang1,3, Zhenhua Xu1,2, Qun Li4, Baoshu Yin1,2,3, Yijun Hou1,2,3, and Antony K. Liu5 1Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, 266071, China
2Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266071, China
3University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
4Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, 200136, China
5Ocean University of China, Qingdao, 266100, China
Abstract. The evolution process of mode-2 internal solitary waves (ISWs) modulated by the background shear currents was investigated numerically. The forward-propagating long wave, amplitude-modulated wave packet were generated during the early stage of modulation, where the amplitude-modulated wave packet were suggested playing an important role in the energy transfer process, and then the oscillating tail was generated and followed the solitary wave. Five different cases were introduced to assess the sensitivity of the energy transfer process to the Δ, which defined as a dimensionless distance between the centers of pycnocline and shear current. The forward-propagating long waves were found robust to the Δ, but the oscillating tail and amplitude-modulated wave packet decreased in amplitude with increasing Δ. The highest energy loss rate was observed when Δ = 0. In the first 30 periods, ~ 36 % of the total energy lost at an average rate of 9 W m−1, it would deplete the energy of the solitary wave in ~ 4.5 h, corresponding to a propagation distance of ~ 5 km, which is consistent with the hypothesis of Shroyer et al. (2010), who speculated that the mode-2 ISWs are short-lived in the presence of shear currents.
Citation: Zhang, P., Xu, Z., Li, Q., Yin, B., Hou, Y., and Liu, A. K.: The evolution of mode-2 internal solitary waves modulated by background shear currents, Nonlin. Processes Geophys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2017-78, in review, 2018.
Peiwen Zhang et al.
Peiwen Zhang et al.
Peiwen Zhang et al.

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Short summary
We use numerical simulation to examine the important role by the background shear currents on the “short-lived” nature of mode-2 ISWs observed previously. Our results also confirm the hypothesis of Shroyer et al. (2010). It was shown that the Mode-2 internal solitary waves under the shear currents will adjust through the generation of multiple wave forms, of which the amplitude-modulated wave packet is important for the energy transfer during early modulation process.
We use numerical simulation to examine the important role by the background shear currents on...
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