Publication Date

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Moss Landing Marine Laboratories


Tom Connolly


Internal waves, ocean mixing, ocean observing systems, physical oceanography, submarine canyons, time series analysis

Subject Areas

Physical oceanography


Submarine canyons are prominent bathymetric features in the ocean and in addition to being interesting geological regions, submarine canyons are associated with important physical processes in the ocean. Internal wave reflection from sloping boundaries can cause strong mixing in the turbulent boundary layers near sloping topography. Boundary mixing driven by internal waves may account for a significant portion of the overall oceanic vertical mixing. By observing internal waves using three cabled ADCPs at three sites in and around Barkley Submarine Canyon in spring pre-upwelling, and summer upwelling periods, this thesis has established a strong canyon effect on the internal wave field. We have also found a seasonal effect in the internal wave field, with all sites showing a reduction of energy at the M2 period from spring to summer. Finally, this thesis found that internal waves affect the vertical structure of the water columns via bottom intensification. This is likely attributed to the downward propagation of energy associated with the upward phase propagation shown in the M2 harmonics