Layer Outcropping in Numerical Models of Stratified Flows

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  • 1 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

Layered models of stratified flow are favored by theoreticians because of their conceptual simplicity but have only seen limited use in numerical modeling due to difficulties related to layer outcropping (vanishing layer depth). Two mass transport schemes capable of handling outcropping are tested against analytic solutions describing wind- and buoyancy-forced flow in a two- and three-layer ocean. In both cases, the model is found to closely reproduce the available analytic solutions. This result helps alleviate longstanding reservations about the severity of the outcrop problem in layer models.

Abstract

Layered models of stratified flow are favored by theoreticians because of their conceptual simplicity but have only seen limited use in numerical modeling due to difficulties related to layer outcropping (vanishing layer depth). Two mass transport schemes capable of handling outcropping are tested against analytic solutions describing wind- and buoyancy-forced flow in a two- and three-layer ocean. In both cases, the model is found to closely reproduce the available analytic solutions. This result helps alleviate longstanding reservations about the severity of the outcrop problem in layer models.

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