Coastal ocean wind fields gauged against the performance of an ocean circulation model
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Atmosphere model-derived flux fields are used to force coastal ocean models. Coarse resolution and incomplete boundary layer dynamics limit the accuracy of these forcing fields and hence the performance of the ocean models. We address this limitation for the west Florida shelf using optimal interpolation to blend winds measured in situ with winds produced by model analyses. By improving the coastal wind field we improve the fidelity between currents modeled and currents observed. Comparisons between momentum analyses performed independently from the model and the data demonstrate the fidelity to be of a correct dynamical basis. We conclude that the primary limitation to coastal ocean model performance lies with the boundary conditions.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 31 (2004): L14303, doi:10.1029/2003GL019261.
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