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Lina SUN, Jie ZHANG, Junmin MENG. Study on the propagation velocity of internal solitary waves in the Andaman Sea using Terra/Aqua-MODIS remote sensing images[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2021, 39(6): 2195-2208

Study on the propagation velocity of internal solitary waves in the Andaman Sea using Terra/Aqua-MODIS remote sensing images

Lina SUN1,2, Jie ZHANG1,2, Junmin MENG1,2
1 First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China;
2 Technology Innovation Center for Ocean Telemetry, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China
The Andaman Sea has been a classic study region for internal solitary waves (ISWs) for several decades, and extraordinarily large ISWs are characteristic of the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean. This paper presents results on the estimation of the propagation velocity of ISWs in the Andaman Sea that were tracked using 195 image pairs acquired by MODIS National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Terra/Aqua satellites between January 2014 and December 2018. A total of 562 ISWs were identified during the period, and the results of the propagation velocity distribution of ISWs in the Andaman Sea are presented. The estimated propagation velocity of ISWs agrees well with the theoretical results derived from the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) equation using monthly climatology stratification data and local bathymetry. The ISW propagation velocity decreases as they propagate from deep to shallow water; the maximum propagation velocity of 3.27 m/s was estimated on the western side of the Nicobar Islands and minimum speed of 0.54 m/s occurred in the shallow water region of the southeastern Andaman Sea. The results show that the ISW propagation characteristics differ in the northern, central, and southern regions of the Andaman Sea. In the northern Andaman Sea, the velocity of ISWs propagating westward was greater than that of ISWs propagating eastward at the same water depth. In the central Andaman Sea, the propagation velocity of the ISWs differed over a small area at a depth of 2 500 m, and the velocity of ISWs in the deep mixing layer in winter was higher than that in the shallow mixing layer in spring. Monthly variations in ISW propagation velocity were analyzed in the southern Andaman Sea, and the velocity of ISWs differed greatly in shallow water and was not significantly different in deep water. Water depth and monthly stratification play vital roles in controlling the phase speed of ISWs in the Andaman Sea. This study will provide a basis for the propagation and prediction of ISWs in the Andaman Sea.
Key words:    internal solitary waves|propagation velocity|remote sensing|Andaman Sea   
Received: 2020-08-18   Revised: 2020-10-22
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Articles by Jie ZHANG
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