Energy transfer of surface wind-induced currents to the deep ocean via resonance with the Coriolis force Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract There are two main comparable sources of energy to the deep ocean—winds and tides. However, the identity of the most efficient mechanism that transfers wind energy to the deep ocean is still debated. Here we study, using oceanic general circulation model simulations and analytic derivations, the way that the wind directly supplies energy down to the bottom of the ocean when it is stochastic and temporally correlated or when it is periodic with a frequency that matches the Coriolis frequency. Basically, under these, commonly observed, conditions, one of the wind components resonates with the Coriolis frequency. Using reanalysis surface wind data and our simple model, we show that about one-third of the kinetic energy that is associated with wind-induced currents resides in the abyssal ocean, highlighting the importance of the resonance of the wind with the Coriolis force.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017