Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences


Ocean and Earth Sciences

Committee Director

Chester E. Grosch

Committee Member

Tal Ezer

Committee Member

John M. Klinck

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35 B645 2015


Measurements of velocity fields from a high frequency ( 1.2 MHz) vertical acoustic doppler current profiler (V ADCP) along with density and temperature profiles were taken in coastal waters on the New Jersey shelf. Time series span six consecutive months from May through October 2003, capturing the transition of the water column from a highly stratified summer into a fully mixed winter season. Barotropic tides interact with variations in local bathymetry causing disturbances within the fluid medium which govern internal wave characteristics. During the months of June, July, and August, a high number of internal wave signals were observed. Spectra from depth averaged vertical velocities have a relatively constant structure for frequencies greater than 36 h-1 until reaching the cut-off frequency of 90 h-1 . Wave periods ranged from 40 s to 15 min with variability mostly due to fluctuations in regional dynamics. Evidence supports propagating internal waves in the direction of the bathymetric gradient towards shore. Wavelet analysis of depth averaged vertical signals reveal an alteration in frequency that has a period comparable to the tidal cycle. Peaks in frequencies were observed near high tide before decreasing back to a lower value. More than 70 of these instances occurred during the data collection period. Evidence supports Doppler shifted internal waves by the horizontal moving tide. The observation of this unique phenomenon provided motivation for this study. The scope of this work analyzes one such occurrence in detail followed by the inspection of values averaged over the month of August. Analysis techniques include evaluating water column properties, correlations between instrumentation, along with the examination of theoretical models.


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Oceanography Commons