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Application of mechanical energy budget analysis in understanding the dynamics in different marine systems

  • 112 O&M Building, Texas A&M University (map)


The sources, sinks and pathways of the mechanical energy play important roles in controlling the ocean circulation. Therefore, energy budget analysis is an efficient way to find out how and why ocean currents flow, and to better understand the related dynamical processes. The general concepts of the mechanical energy budget in the ocean are reviewed and followed by some applications in different marine systems. They include: (1) tidal energy budget of different tidal components in the South China Sea basin that helps to explain the increase/decrease of the diurnal/semi-diurnal tidal amplitude in the South China Sea; (2) energy transfer from mean flow to eddy due to barotropic/baroclinic instability that leads to the formation of anticyclonic eddies from Kuroshio at southwest of Taiwan; (3) the mixing efficiency of the buoyant plume under different stratification in an estuary-shelf system, revealed by the wind and tide work and related dissipation processes.