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Trapped waves on the mid-latitude β-plane


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A new type of approximate solutions of the Linearized Shallow Water Equations (LSWE) on the mid-latitude β-plane, zonally propagating trapped waves with Airy-like latitude-dependent amplitude, is constructed in this work, for sufficiently small radius of deformation. In contrast to harmonic Poincare and Rossby waves, these newly found trapped waves vanish fast in the positive half-axis, and their zonal phase speed is larger than that of the corresponding harmonic waves for sufficiently large meridional domains. Our analysis implies that due to the smaller radius of deformation in the ocean compared with that in the atmosphere, the trapped waves are relevant to observations in the ocean whereas harmonic waves typify atmospheric observations. The increase in the zonal phase speed of trapped Rossby waves compared with that of harmonic ones is consistent with recent observations that showed that Sea Surface Height features propagated westwards faster than the phase speed of harmonic Rossby waves.