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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/os-2017-3
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Feb 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Ocean Science (OS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Trapped Planetary (Rossby) Waves Observed in the Indian Ocean by Satellite Borne Altimeters
Yair De-Leon and Nathan Paldor Fredy and Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram, Jerusalem, 9190401, Israel
Abstract. Using 20 years of accurately calibrated, high resolution, observations of Sea Surface Height Anomalies (SSHA) by satellite ‎borne altimeters we show that in the Indian Ocean south of the Australian coast the low frequency variations of SSHA are ‎dominated by westward propagating, trapped, i.e. non-harmonic, planetary waves. Our results demonstrate that the ‎meridional-dependent amplitudes of the SSHA are large only within a few degrees of latitude next to the South-Australian ‎coast while farther in the ocean they are uniformly small. This meridional variation of the SSHA signal is typical of the ‎amplitude structure in the trapped wave theory. The westward propagation speed of the SSHA signals is analyzed by ‎employing three different methods of estimation. Each one of these methods yields speed estimates that can vary widely ‎between adjacent latitudes but the combination of at least two of the three methods yields much smoother variation. The ‎estimates obtained in this manner show that the observed phase speeds at different latitudes exceed the phase speeds of ‎harmonic Rossby (Planetary) waves by 140 % to 200 %. In contrast, the theory of trapped Rossby (Planetary) waves in a ‎domain bounded by a wall on its equatorward side yields phase speeds that approximate more closely the observed phase ‎speeds.‎

Citation: De-Leon, Y. and Paldor, N.: Trapped Planetary (Rossby) Waves Observed in the Indian Ocean by Satellite Borne Altimeters, Ocean Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/os-2017-3, in review, 2017.
Yair De-Leon and Nathan Paldor
Yair De-Leon and Nathan Paldor

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Short summary
The paper analyzes Sea Surface Height Anomalies (SSHA) in the Indian Ocean south of Australia using several (different) methods and compares the calculated signals with two theoretical expressions for the phase speed and meridional amplitude structure of Rossby waves. The paper concludes that both the meridional structure of the SSHA and their phase speeds fit those of trapped Rossby waves while the meridional variation of the phase speed is close to that of harmonic Rossby waves.
The paper analyzes Sea Surface Height Anomalies (SSHA) in the Indian Ocean south of Australia...
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