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Development of a two-way-coupled ocean–wave model: assessment on a global NEMO(v3.6)–WW3(v6.02) coupled configuration

By Xavier Couvelard, Florian Lemarié, Guillaume Samson, Jean-luc Redelsperger, Fabrice Ardhuin, Rachid Benshila and Gurvan Madec


This paper describes the implementation of a coupling between a three-dimensional ocean general circulation model (NEMO) and a wave model (WW3) to represent the interactions of the upper oceanic flow dynamics with surface waves. The focus is on the impact of such coupling on upper-ocean properties (temperature and currents) and mixed-layer depths (MLD) at global eddying scales. A generic coupling interface has been developed and the NEMO governing equations and boundary conditions have been adapted to include wave-induced terms following the approach of McWilliams et al. (2004) and Ardhuin et al. (2008). In particular, the contributions of Stokes-Coriolis, Vortex and surface pressure forces have been implemented on top of the necessary modifications of the tracer/continuity equation and turbulent closure scheme (a 1-equation TKE closure here). To assess the new developments, we perform a set of sensitivity experiments with a global oceanic configuration at 1/4° resolution coupled with a wave model configured at 1/2° resolution. Numerical simulations show a global increase of wind-stress due to the interaction with waves (via the Charnock coefficient) particularly at high latitudes. The modifications brought to the TKE closure scheme and the inclusion of a parameterization for Langmuir turbulence lead to a significant increase of the mixing thus helping to deepen the MLD. This deepening is mainly located in the Southern Hemisphere and results in reduced sea-surface currents and temperatures

Publisher: 'Copernicus GmbH'
Year: 2020
DOI identifier: 10.5194/gmd-13-3067-2020
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