Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 69–86, 2015

Special issue: Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean - NEMO

Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 69–86, 2015

Model experiment description paper 22 Jan 2015

Model experiment description paper | 22 Jan 2015

Modelling turbulent vertical mixing sensitivity using a 1-D version of NEMO

G. Reffray1, R. Bourdalle-Badie1, and C. Calone2 G. Reffray et al.
  • 1Mercator Océan, Toulouse, France
  • 2LGGE, Grenoble, France

Abstract. Through two numerical experiments, a 1-D vertical model called NEMO1D was used to investigate physical and numerical turbulent-mixing behaviour. The results show that all the turbulent closures tested (k+l from Blanke and Delecluse, 1993, and two equation models: generic length scale closures from Umlauf and Burchard, 2003) are able to correctly reproduce the classical test of Kato and Phillips (1969) under favourable numerical conditions while some solutions may diverge depending on the degradation of the spatial and time discretization. The performances of turbulence models were then compared with data measured over a 1-year period (mid-2010 to mid-2011) at the PAPA station, located in the North Pacific Ocean. The modelled temperature and salinity were in good agreement with the observations, with a maximum temperature error between −2 and 2 °C during the stratified period (June to October). However, the results also depend on the numerical conditions. The vertical RMSE varied, for different turbulent closures, from 0.1 to 0.3 °C during the stratified period and from 0.03 to 0.15 °C during the homogeneous period. This 1-D configuration at the PAPA station (called PAPA1D) is now available in NEMO as a reference configuration including the input files and atmospheric forcing set described in this paper. Thus, all the results described can be recovered by downloading and launching PAPA1D. The configuration is described on the NEMO site ( This package is a good starting point for further investigation of vertical processes.