Effects of wave-current interaction on the Eastern China Coastal Waters during super Typhoon Lekima (2019)

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  • 1 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University and Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 519082, China.
  • 2 Marine Monitoring and Forecasting Center of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310007, China.
  • 3 State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China;
  • 4 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 519082, China
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Abstract

Lekima was a devastating super typhoon hitting china in 2019. Here, we use a high-resolution wave-current coupling model to investigate the impacts of wave-current interaction during Lekima on wave height, storm surge, ocean currents, and momentum balance. The model results were in good agreement with observations. It was found that, in the open waters, the strong currents generated by the typhoon winds reduced the typhoon-induced maximum significant wave heights (MSWHs) by 6–15%. The baroclinicity of seawater also slightly reduced the MSWHs by approximately 3%. In the coastal waters, the MSWHs were increased by 6–15% when feedbacks from water levels were considered. The typhoon-induced highest storm surge occurred in the coastal waters right of the typhoon’s landing position. The non-conservative wave forces contributed approximately by 0.1–0.4 m to the most severe storm surge (3 m), with this effect being most prominent in coastal waters. The baroclinicity of seawater generally increased the storm surge but had little influence on very shallow waters. Tides tend to exacerbate storm surge in most nearshore waters, except in a small bay. Waves generally increased the velocity of offshore ocean currents via the wave-breaking-induced acceleration. A cross-shore momentum balance analysis shows that when the typhoon was near the shore, the dominant terms in the momentum equation were the horizontal pressure gradient force and the surface wind stress, and the contribution of wave-breaking had similar pattern to that of the wind stress but a lower magnitude. Our findings have significant implications for the numerical modelling of typhoons and the prediction of their impacts in the coastal environment.

Corresponding author: Renhao wu, wurenhao@mail.sysu.edu.cn or Han Zhang, zhanghan@sio.org.cn

Abstract

Lekima was a devastating super typhoon hitting china in 2019. Here, we use a high-resolution wave-current coupling model to investigate the impacts of wave-current interaction during Lekima on wave height, storm surge, ocean currents, and momentum balance. The model results were in good agreement with observations. It was found that, in the open waters, the strong currents generated by the typhoon winds reduced the typhoon-induced maximum significant wave heights (MSWHs) by 6–15%. The baroclinicity of seawater also slightly reduced the MSWHs by approximately 3%. In the coastal waters, the MSWHs were increased by 6–15% when feedbacks from water levels were considered. The typhoon-induced highest storm surge occurred in the coastal waters right of the typhoon’s landing position. The non-conservative wave forces contributed approximately by 0.1–0.4 m to the most severe storm surge (3 m), with this effect being most prominent in coastal waters. The baroclinicity of seawater generally increased the storm surge but had little influence on very shallow waters. Tides tend to exacerbate storm surge in most nearshore waters, except in a small bay. Waves generally increased the velocity of offshore ocean currents via the wave-breaking-induced acceleration. A cross-shore momentum balance analysis shows that when the typhoon was near the shore, the dominant terms in the momentum equation were the horizontal pressure gradient force and the surface wind stress, and the contribution of wave-breaking had similar pattern to that of the wind stress but a lower magnitude. Our findings have significant implications for the numerical modelling of typhoons and the prediction of their impacts in the coastal environment.

Corresponding author: Renhao wu, wurenhao@mail.sysu.edu.cn or Han Zhang, zhanghan@sio.org.cn
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