Ocean Tide and Waves Beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Science  02 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4379, pp. 443-445
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4379.443


The ocean tide in the southern Ross Sea is principally diurnal. The tropic tide range (double amplitude) is between 1 and 2 meters, depending on the location, and is closely related to the local water-layer thickness. The range of the tropic tide is more than three times the range of the equatorial tide. Cotidal and coamplitude charts were made for the largest diurnal constituents, K1 and O1 and a provisional cotidal map was made for the semidiurnal constituent M2. The amplitudes of the diurnal tide constituents are larger in the Ross Sea than in the adjacent southern Pacific Ocean, indicating the existence of a diurnal resonance related to the shape and depth of the sea. Waves related to ocean swell propagate into the ice-covered region from the northern Ross Sea. These waves have amplitudes near 1 centimeter, and periods in the range 1 to 15 minutes. The speed at which these waves travel is successfully predicted by flexural wave theory.