Localized general vertical coordinates for quasi‐Eulerian ocean models: The Nordic overflows test‐case

Bruciaferri, Diego; Guiavarc'h, Catherine; Hewitt, Helene T.; Harle, James; Almansi, Mattia ORCID:; Mathiot, Pierre; Colombo, Pedro. 2024 Localized general vertical coordinates for quasi‐Eulerian ocean models: The Nordic overflows test‐case. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 16 (3).

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A generalized methodology to deploy different types of vertical coordinate system in arbitrarily defined time-invariant local areas of quasi-Eulerian numerical ocean models is presented. After detailing its characteristics, we show how the general localization method can be used to improve the representation of the Nordic Seas overflows in the UK Met Office NEMO-based eddy-permitting global ocean configuration. Three z*-levels with partial steps configurations localizing different types of hybrid geopotential/terrain-following vertical coordinates in the proximity of the Greenland-Scotland ridge are implemented and compared against a control configuration. Experiments include a series of idealized and realistic numerical simulations where the skill of the models in computing pressure forces, reducing spurious diapycnal mixing and reproducing observed properties of the Nordic Seas overflows are assessed. Numerical results prove that the localization approach proposed here can be successfully used to embed terrain-following levels in a global geopotential levels-based configuration, provided that the localized vertical coordinate chosen is flexible enough to allow a smooth transition between the two. In addition, our experiments show that deploying localized terrain-following levels via the multi-envelope method allows the crucial reduction of spurious cross-isopycnal mixing when modeling bottom intensified buoyancy driven currents, significantly improving the realism of the Nordic Seas overflows simulations in comparison to the other configurations. Important hydrographic biases are found to similarly affect all the realistic experiments and a discussion on how their interaction with the type of localized vertical coordinate affects the realism of the simulated overflows is provided.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1942-2466
Additional Keywords: ocean modeling, vertical coordinates, Nordic overflows
Date made live: 29 Apr 2024 14:29 +0 (UTC)

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