Nearshore Nonlinear Internal Waves: Propagation, Transport, Mixing and Controls on Larvae, Phytoplankton, and Nutrients

Start/End: February, 2016 to January, 2018

Nearshore waters (depth < 15 m) are of critical ecological and economic importance. Nonlinear internal waves (NLIW) transport and mix nutrients, phytoplankton, and larvae in the nearshore, but their propagation and transformation from 15 m depth to the shoreline is poorly understood. This project will track NLIW from 7-15m depth to the shoreline, characterizing their transformation, mixing efficiency, heat flux, and variations in frequency and magnitude. Results will address unresolved questions about internal wave propagation and transformation across the nearshore region and characterize their impact on cross-shelf transport (larvae, nutrients, pathogens) and mixing. Project results will be shared with state and local agencies managing coastal ecosystems and marine protected areas.

  • University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography