Designing variable ocean model resolution based on the observed ocean variability.

Sein, Dmitry V., Danilov, Sergey, Biastoch, Arne , Durgadoo, Jonathan V. , Sidorenko, Dmitry, Harig, Sven and Wang, Qiang (2016) Designing variable ocean model resolution based on the observed ocean variability. Open Access Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 8 (2). pp. 904-916. DOI 10.1002/2016MS000650.

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If unstructured meshes are refined to locally represent eddy dynamics in ocean circulation models, a practical question arises on how to vary the resolution and where to deploy the refinement. We propose to use the observed sea surface height variability as the refinement criterion. We explore the utility of this method (i) in a suite of idealized experiments simulating a wind-driven double gyre flow in a stratified circular basin and (ii) in simulations of global ocean circulation performed with FESOM. Two practical approaches of mesh refinement are compared. In the first approach the uniform refinement is confined within the areas where the observed variability exceeds a given threshold. In the second one the refinement varies linearly following the observed variability. The resolution is fixed in time. For the double gyre case it is shown that the variability obtained in a high-resolution reference run can be well captured on variable-resolution meshes if they are refined where the variability is high and additionally upstream the jet separation point. The second approach of mesh refinement proves to be more beneficial in terms of improvement downstream the midlatitude jet. Similarly, in global ocean simulations the mesh refinement based on the observed variability helps the model to simulate high variability at correct locations. The refinement also leads to a reduced bias in the upper-ocean temperature

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/641727
Additional Information: WOS:000380072800021
Keywords: FESOM; Nesting; Ocean eddies; Ocean modeling; Unstructured meshes; Variable resolution
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 07:40
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2019 10:25

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