The expected amplitude of fixed-point sea surface temperature (SST) fluctuations induced by barotropic and baroclinic tidal flows is estimated from tidal current atlases and SST observations. The fluctuations considered are the result of the advection of pre-existing SST fronts by tidal currents. They are thus confined to front locations and exhibit fine-scale spatial structures. The amplitude of these tidally induced SST fluctuations is proportional to the scalar product of SST frontal gradients and tidal currents. Regional and global estimations of these expected amplitudes are presented. We predict barotropic tidal motions produce SST fluctuations that may reach amplitudes of
K. Baroclinic (internal) tides produce SST fluctuations that may reach values that are weaker than
K. The amplitudes and the detectability of tidally induced fluctuations of SST are discussed in the light of expected SST fluctuations due to other geophysical processes and instrumental (pixel) noise. We conclude that actual observations of tidally induced SST fluctuations are a challenge with present-day observing systems.
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