Timko, P. G., Arbic, B. K., Hyder, P., Richman, J. G., Zamudio, L., O'Dea, E., et al. (2019). Assessment of shelf sea tides and tidal mixing fronts in a global ocean model.
Ocean Modelling, 136, 66–84.
Abstract: Tidal mixing fronts, which represent boundaries between stratified and tidally mixed waters, are locations of enhanced biological activity. They occur in summer shelf seas when, in the presence of strong tidal currents, mixing due to bottom friction balances buoyancy production due to seasonal heat flux. In this paper we examine the occurrence and fidelity of tidal mixing fronts in shelf seas generated within a global 3-dimensional simulation of the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) that is simultaneously forced by atmospheric fields and the astronomical tidal potential. We perform a first order assessment of shelf sea tides in global HYCOM through comparison of sea surface temperature, sea surface tidal elevations, and tidal currents with observations. HYCOM was tuned to minimize errors in M2 sea surface heights in deep water. Over the global coastal and shelf seas (depths <200 m) the area-weighted root mean square error of the M2 sea surface amplitude in HYCOM represents 35% of the 50 cm root mean squared M2 sea surface amplitude when compared to satellite constrained models TPXO8 and FES2014. HYCOM and the altimeter constrained tidal models TPXO8 and FES2014 exhibit similar skill in reproducing barotropic tidal currents estimated from in-situ current meter observations. Through comparison of a global HYCOM simulation with tidal forcing to a global HYCOM simulation with no tides, and also to previous regional studies of tidal mixing fronts in shelf seas, we demonstrate that HYCOM with embedded tides exhibits quite high skill in reproducing known tidal mixing fronts in shelf seas. Our results indicate that the amount of variability in the location of the tidal mixing fronts in HYCOM, estimated using the Simpson-Hunter parameter, is consistent with previous studies when the differences in the net downward heat flux, on a global scale, are taken into account. We also provide evidence of tidal mixing fronts on the North West Australian Shelf for which we have been unable to find references in the existing scientific literature.
Nelson, A. D., Arbic, B. K., Zaron, E. D., Savage, A. C., Richman, J. G., Buijsman, M. C., et al. (2019). Toward Realistic Nonstationarity of Semidiurnal Baroclinic Tides in a Hydrodynamic Model.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 124(9), 6632–6641.
Abstract: Semidiurnal baroclinic tide sea surface height (SSH) variance and semidiurnal nonstationary variance fraction (SNVF) are compared between a hydrodynamic model and altimetry for the low- to middle-latitude global ocean. Tidal frequencies are aliased by similar to 10-day altimeter sampling, which makes it impossible to unambiguously identify nonstationary tidal signals from the observations. In order to better understand altimeter sampling artifacts, the model was analyzed using its native hourly outputs and by subsampling it in the same manner as altimeters. Different estimates of the semidiurnal nonstationary and total SSH variance are obtained with the model depending on whether they are identified in the frequency domain or wave number domain and depending on the temporal sampling of the model output. Five sources of ambiguity in the interpretation of the altimetry are identified and briefly discussed. When the model and altimetry are analyzed in the same manner, they display qualitatively similar spatial patterns of semidiurnal baroclinic tides. The SNVF typically correlates above 80% at all latitudes between the different analysis methods and above 60% between the model and altimetry. The choice of analysis methodology was found to have a profound effect on estimates of the semidiurnal baroclinic SSH variance with the wave number domain methodology underestimating the semidiurnal nonstationary and total SSH variances by 68% and 66%, respectively. These results produce a SNVF estimate from altimetry that is biased low by a factor of 0.92. This bias is primarily a consequence of the ambiguity in the separation of tidal and mesoscale signals in the wave number domain.
Jeon, C. - H., Buijsman, M. C., Wallcraft, A. J., Shriver, J. F., Arbic, B. K., Richman, J. G., et al. (2019). Improving surface tidal accuracy through two-way nesting in a global ocean model.
Ocean Modelling, 137, 98–113.
Abstract: In global ocean simulations, forward (non-data-assimilative) tide models generally feature large sea-surface-height errors near Hudson Strait in the North Atlantic Ocean with respect to altimetry-constrained tidal solutions. These errors may be associated with tidal resonances that are not well resolved by the complex coastal-shelf bathymetry in low-resolution simulations. An online two-way nesting framework has been implemented to improve global surface tides in the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). In this framework, a high-resolution child domain, covering Hudson Strait, is coupled with a relatively low-resolution parent domain for computational efficiency. Data such as barotropic pressure and velocity are exchanged between the child and parent domains with the external coupler OASIS3-MCT. The developed nesting framework is validated with semi-idealized basin-scale model simulations. The M2 sea-surface heights show very good accuracy in the one-way and two-way nesting simulations in Hudson Strait, where large tidal elevations are observed. In addition, the mass and tidal energy flux are not adversely impacted at the nesting boundaries in the semi-idealized simulations. In a next step, the nesting framework is applied to a realistic global tide simulation. In this simulation, the resolution of the child domain (1/75°) is three times as fine as that of the parent domain (1/25°). The M2 sea-surface-height root-mean-square errors with tide gauge data and the altimetry-constrained global FES2014 and TPXO9-atlas tidal solutions are evaluated for the nesting and no-nesting solutions. The better resolved coastal bathymetry and the finer grid in the child domain improve the local tides in Hudson Strait and Bay, and the back-effect of the coastal tides induces an improvement of the barotropic tides in the open ocean of the Atlantic.