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A Diagnostic Finite-Element Ocean Circulation Model in Spherical-Polar Coordinates

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  • 1 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • | 2 Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • | 3 Department of Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
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Abstract

A spherical-polar 3D, harmonic-in-time, linear finite-element ocean circulation model that allows for spatially arbitrary forcing by winds, density field, and imposed free-surface elevation along open boundaries is presented. Model features and capabilities are demonstrated in applications to idealized and realistic basin-scale flows. Subpolar, subtropical, and equatorial flows are reproduced with imposed wind fields in models with simplified geometry. A North Atlantic model captures features of the baroclinic circulation including the Gulf Stream and deep western boundary currents. The flow along the northwest Atlantic continental shelf is used to demonstrate boundary forcing and boundary outflow conditions. The run time of the model solutions makes this a desirable tool for 3D diagnostic simulations of large datasets.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David A. Greenberg, Coastal Ocean Science, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2 Canada.

Email: dgreenbe@georgs.bio.dfo.ca

Abstract

A spherical-polar 3D, harmonic-in-time, linear finite-element ocean circulation model that allows for spatially arbitrary forcing by winds, density field, and imposed free-surface elevation along open boundaries is presented. Model features and capabilities are demonstrated in applications to idealized and realistic basin-scale flows. Subpolar, subtropical, and equatorial flows are reproduced with imposed wind fields in models with simplified geometry. A North Atlantic model captures features of the baroclinic circulation including the Gulf Stream and deep western boundary currents. The flow along the northwest Atlantic continental shelf is used to demonstrate boundary forcing and boundary outflow conditions. The run time of the model solutions makes this a desirable tool for 3D diagnostic simulations of large datasets.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David A. Greenberg, Coastal Ocean Science, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2 Canada.

Email: dgreenbe@georgs.bio.dfo.ca

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