Understanding internal wave-wave interaction patterns observed in satellite images of the mid-atlantic bight

Jingshuang Xue, Hans C. Graber, Roland Romeiser, Bjorn Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Many internal wave-wave interaction patterns have been observed in satellite images. However, very few studies have been made on understanding these patterns. Internal wave interactions may result in exceptionally large amplitudes in the interaction zone, which, in turn, pose threats to underwater structures. In this paper, we analyze the characteristics of interaction patterns observed in satellite images of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, such as internal wave phase shifts and amplitude changes. Based on these characteristics, we categorize the patterns into four different types: Mach interaction; regular interaction with prominent positive phase shifts and an amplitude decrease in the interaction zone; regular interaction with prominent negative phase shifts and an amplitude increase in the interaction zone; and wave interactions without phase shifts. We provide a detailed analysis of one observed interaction pattern within each category and compare our findings with existing analytical and numerical models for a two-soliton interaction. One important result from this study of interaction patterns is that the patterns alone can be used to deduce how the amplitude changes in the potentially hazardous interaction zone. This paper thus proves that high-resolution satellite images can provide a useful and efficient means of studying internal wave interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6725626
Pages (from-to)3211-3219
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Amplitude changes
  • Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB)
  • Satellite images
  • internal wave-wave interaction
  • phase shifts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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