World Ocean Tides Synthesized from Normal Modes

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Science  06 May 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4597, pp. 602-604
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4597.602


Sixty oceanic normal modes are used to synthesize the M2 and K1 (principal lunar semidiurnal and declinational diurnal) tides. The ten most energetic modes in the M2 synthesis account for 87 percent of the energy; the corresponding figure for K1 is 93 percent, two-thirds of which is contributed by a single mode whose natural period is about 29 hours. Model calculations indicate that the quality (Q) of the ocean response to tidal forcing resembles that of a frictionally controlled oscillator. In particular, for M2 the global Q is about 10.

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