Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Development and technical paper
10 Mar 2016
Development and technical paper |  | 10 Mar 2016

Evaluation of an operational ocean model configuration at 1/12° spatial resolution for the Indonesian seas (NEMO2.3/INDO12) – Part 1: Ocean physics

Benoît Tranchant, Guillaume Reffray, Eric Greiner, Dwiyoga Nugroho, Ariane Koch-Larrouy, and Philippe Gaspar

Abstract. INDO12 is a 1/12° regional version of the NEMO physical ocean model covering the whole Indonesian EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). It has been developed and is now running every week in the framework of the INDESO (Infrastructure Development of Space Oceanography) project implemented by the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

The initial hydrographic conditions as well as open-boundary conditions are derived from the operational global ocean forecasting system at 1/4° operated by Mercator Océan. Atmospheric forcing fields (3-hourly ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast) analyses) are used to force the regional model. INDO12 is also forced by tidal currents and elevations, and by the inverse barometer effect. The turbulent mixing induced by internal tides is taken into account through a specific parameterisation. In this study we evaluate the model skill through comparisons with various data sets including outputs of the parent model, climatologies, in situ temperature and salinity measurements, and satellite data. The biogeochemical model results assessment is presented in a companion paper (Gutknecht et al., 2015).

The simulated and altimeter-derived Eddy Kinetic Energy fields display similar patterns and confirm that tides are a dominant forcing in the area. The volume transport of the Indonesian throughflow (ITF) is in good agreement with the INSTANT estimates while the transport through Luzon Strait is, on average, westward but probably too weak. Compared to satellite data, surface salinity and temperature fields display marked biases in the South China Sea. Significant water mass transformation occurs along the main routes of the ITF and compares well with observations. Vertical mixing is able to modify the South and North Pacific subtropical water-salinity maximum as seen in TS diagrams.

In spite of a few weaknesses, INDO12 proves to be able to provide a very realistic simulation of the ocean circulation and water mass transformation through the Indonesian Archipelago. Work is ongoing to reduce or eliminate the remaining problems in the second INDO12 version.