Barotropic tides on the southeast New England shelf : a view from a hybrid data assimilative modeling approach

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He, Ruoying
Wilkin, John L.
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Continental shelf
Barotropic tides
Numerical modeling
Data assimilation
A high-resolution hybrid data assimilative (DA) modeling system is used to study barotropic tides and tidal dynamics on the southeast New England shelf. In situ observations include tidal harmonics of 5 major tidal constituents [M2, S2, N2, O1, and K1] analyzed from coastal sea level and bottom pressure gauges. The DA system consists of both forward and inverse models. The former is the three-dimensional, finite difference, nonlinear Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). The latter is a three-dimensional linearized, frequency domain, finite element model TRUXTON. The DA system assimilates in situ observations via the inversion for the barotropic tidal open boundary conditions (OBCs). Model skill is evaluated by comparing the misfits between the observed and modeled tidal harmonics. The assimilation scheme is found effective and efficient in correcting the tidal OBCs, which in turn improve ROMS tidal solutions. Up to 50% decreases of model/data misfits are achieved after inverse data assimilation. Co-amplitude and co-phase maps and tidal current ellipses for each of 5 tidal constituents are generated, revealing complex tidal variability in this transition region between the tidally amplified Gulf of Maine in the northeast and the tidally much less energetic Middle Atlantic Bight in the southwest. Detailed examinations on the residual circulation, energetics, and momentum balances of the M2 tide reveal the key roles of the unique bottom bathymetry of Nantucket Shoals and the complex coastal geometry in affecting the regional tidal dynamics.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 111 (2006): C08002, doi:10.1029/2005JC003254.
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Journal of Geophysical Research 111 (2006): C08002
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