Infrasonic observations of open ocean swells in the Pacific: Deciphering the song of the sea

Authors

  • M. Willis,

    1. Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
    2. Now at Surfline, Inc., 300 Pacific Coast Hwy. #310 Huntington Beach, CA 92648.
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  • M. Garcés,

    1. Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
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  • C. Hetzer,

    1. Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
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  • S. Businger

    1. Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
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Abstract

[1] Microbaroms are infrasonic waves generated by nonlinear interactions of ocean surface waves traveling in nearly opposite directions with similar frequencies. Such interactions commonly occur between ocean waves with ∼10 s periods, which are abundant in the open oceans and correspond to the observed 0.2 Hz infrasonic spectral peak. Microbarom observations from Hawai'i during 2002–2003 show a relationship with storm and ocean wave activity in the Pacific. Seasonal patterns of observed microbarom arrival azimuths are affected by the size and distribution of swells, by the dominant wind directions in the atmosphere, and by topographic shadowing.

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