Articles | Volume 27, issue 3
09 Mar 2009
 | 09 Mar 2009

Arctic tidal characteristics at Eureka (80° N, 86° W) and Svalbard (78° N, 16° E) for 2006/07: seasonal and longitudinal variations, migrating and non-migrating tides

A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, T. Chshyolkova, X. Xu, T. Aso, J. R. Drummond, C. M. Hall, W. K. Hocking, Ch. Jacobi, M. Tsutsumi, and W. E. Ward

Abstract. Operation of a Meteor Radar at Eureka, Ellesmere Island (80° N, 86° W) began in February 2006. The first 12 months of wind data (82–97 km) are combined with winds from the Adventdalen, Svalbard Island (78° N, 16° E) Meteor Radar to provide the first contemporaneous longitudinally spaced observations of mean winds, tides and planetary waves at such high Arctic latitudes. Unique polar information on diurnal non-migrating tides (NMT) is provided, as well as complementary information to that existing for the Antarctic on the semidiurnal NMT.

Zonal and meridional monthly mean winds differed significantly between Canada and Norway, indicating the influence of stationary planetary waves (SPW) in the Arctic mesopause region. Both diurnal (D) and semi-diurnal (SD) winds also demonstrated significantly different magnitudes at Eureka and Svalbard. Typically the D tide was larger at Eureka and the SD tide was larger at Svalbard. Tidal amplitudes in the Arctic were also generally larger than expected from extrapolation of high mid-latitude data. For example time-sequences from ~90 km showed D wind oscillations at Eureka of 30 m/s in February–March, and four day bursts of SD winds at Svalbard reached 40 m/s in June 2006.

Fitting of wave numbers for the migrating and non-migrating tides (MT, NMT) successfully determines dominant tides for each month and height. For the diurnal tide, NMT with s=0, +2 (westward) dominate in non-summer months, while for the semi-diurnal tide NMT with s=+1, +3 occur most often during equinoctial or early summer months. These wave numbers are consistent with stationary planetary wave (SPW)-tidal interactions.

Assessment of the global topographic forcing and atmospheric propagation of the SPW (S=1, 2) suggests these winter waves of the Northern Hemisphere are associated with the 78–80° N diurnal NMT, but that the SPW of the Southern Hemisphere winter have little influence on the summer Arctic tidal fields. In contrast the large SPW and NMT of the Arctic winter may be associated, consistent with Antarctic observations, with the observed occurrence of the semidiurnal NMT in the Antarctic summer.