Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
30 Jun 1999
30 Jun 1999

Reflection of equatorial Kelvin waves at eastern ocean boundaries Part II: Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

J. Soares, I. Wainer, and N. C. Wells

Abstract. The effect of viscosity, non linearities, incident wave period and realistic eastern coastline geometry on energy fluxes are investigated using a shallow water model with a spatial resolution of 1/4 degree in both meridional and zonal directions. Equatorial and mid-latitude responses are considered. It is found that (1) the influence of the coastline geometry and the incident wave period is more important for the westward energy flux than for the poleward flux, and (2) the effect of the inclination of the eastern ocean boundary on the poleward energy flux, for the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, decline as the period of the incident wave increases. Furthermore, the model simulations suggest that the poleward energy fluxes from meridional boundaries give plausible results for motions of seasonal and annual periods. For comparatively shorter periods, a realistic coastline geometry has to be included for more accurate results. It is recommended that any numerical model involving the reflection of baroclinic Rossby waves (of intraseasonal, seasonal or annual periods) on the eastern Pacific or Atlantic Oceans, should consider the effect of the coastline geometry in order to improve the accuracy of the results.

Key words. Oceanography: general (climate and interannual variability; equatorial oceanography). Oceanography: physical (eastern boundary currents).