The Internal Waves In Straits Experiment (IWISE) is a multi-year initiative funded by the Office of Naval Research. The goal of the experiment is to study the generation, propagation, and dissipation of internal tides in Luzon Strait. A pilot experiment took place in Summer 2010 to help focus the main experiment, which took place in summer 2011.
IWISE is focused on the internal wave response in sea straits to tidal forcing. Luzon Strait has been selected as the focus area because of the large tidal currents in the area, which generate large amplitude internal waves. These internal waves, with vertical displacements up to 150m, are a prominent feature of the South China Sea and readily visible in remote sensing images. The waves have been intensively studied in recent years, especially to the west of the strait where their amplitude and nonlinear behavior is greatly modified due to the effects of wave steepening and the decreasing water depth. Of particular interest in this project is measurement of the internal waves over a several month period to see how modulation of the Kuroshio affects their generation.