Submitted as: model description paper
08 Aug 2022
Submitted as: model description paper | 08 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

GULF18, a high-resolution NEMO-based tidal ocean model of the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Diego Bruciaferri1, Marina Tonani1,a, Isabella Ascione1, Fahad Al Senafi2, Enda O'Dea1, Helene Theresa Hewitt1, and Andrew Saulter1 Diego Bruciaferri et al.
  • 1Met Office, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 2Department of Marine Science, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait
  • anow at: Mercator Ocean International, Ramonville Saint-Agne, France

Abstract. The sensitivity of a shelf sea model of the Gulf area to changes in the bathymetry, lateral and vertical resolution, vertical coordinates and external forcing is explored. Two new Gulf models with a resolution of 1.8 km named GULF18-3.6 and GULF18-4.0 differing only in the vertical coordinate system and the NEMO codebase employed (NEMO-3.6 and NEMO-4.0.4, respectively) are introduced. We compare them against the existing 4 km PGM4 model, which is based on NEMO-3.4 and is developed and used by the Met Office. PGM4 and GULF18-3.6 use a similar type of quasi-terrain-following vertical levels while GULF18-4.0 employs the multi-envelope method to discretise the model domain in the vertical direction. Our assessment compares non-assimilative hindcast simulations of the three Gulf models for the period 2014–2017 against available observations of tides, hydrography and surface currents. Numerical results indicate that both high resolution models have higher skill than PGM4 in representing the sea surface temperature and the water column stratification on the shelf. In addition, in the proximity of the shelf-break and the deep part of the domain GULF18-4.0 generally presents the highest accuracy, demonstrating the benefit of optimising the vertical grid for the leading physical processes. For the tides and the surface currents the three models give comparable results. However, our tidal harmonic analysis suggests that future work may be needed in order to get real benefit from using a more realistic bottom topography as in the case of the GULF18 models.

Diego Bruciaferri et al.

Status: open (until 04 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-189', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Aug 2022 reply

Diego Bruciaferri et al.

Diego Bruciaferri et al.


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Short summary
More accurate predictions of the Gulf ocean dynamics are needed. We investigate the impact of changing few key aspects of a numerical shelf-sea model of the Gulf on its predictive skills. Increasing the lateral and vertical resolution and optimising the vertical coordinate system to best represent the leading physical processes at stakes significantly improves the accuracy of the simulated dynamics. Additional work may be needed to get real benefit from using a more realistic bathymetry.