Baroclinic dynamics of wind-driven circulation in a stratified bay: A numerical study using models of varying complexity.

Zhai, L., Sheng, J. and Greatbatch, Richard (2008) Baroclinic dynamics of wind-driven circulation in a stratified bay: A numerical study using models of varying complexity. Continental Shelf Research, 28 (17). pp. 2357-2370. DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2008.05.005.

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Abstract

The baroclinic response of a stratified coastal embayment (Lunenburg Bay of Nova Scotia) to the observed wind forcing is examined using two numerical models. A linear baroclinic model based on the normal mode approach shows skill at reproducing the observed isotherm movements and sub-surface currents during a time of strong stratification in the bay. The linear model also shows that the isotherm movement in Lunenburg Bay is influenced by the wind forcing and propagation of baroclinic Kelvin waves from neighbouring Mahone Bay. The effects of nonlinearity and topography are investigated using a three-dimensional nonlinear coastal circulation model. The nonlinear model results demonstrate that the nonlinear advection terms generate a gyre circulation at the entrance of Lunenburg Bay, and the slope bottom topography at the mouth of the bay strengthens the sub-surface time-mean inflow on the southern side of the bay. A comparison of model-calculated currents in different numerical experiments clearly shows that baroclinicity plays a dominant role in the dynamics of wind-driven circulation in Lunenburg Bay.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Baroclinic Kelvin waves; wind-driven currents; upwelling; downwelling; lunenburg Bay; nonlinear advection; topography
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.csr.2008.05.005
ISSN: 0278-4343
Projects: Future Ocean, CMEP
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:52
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2017 10:38
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/104

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