Modeling the high-frequency barotropic response of the ocean to atmospheric disturbances: sensitivity to forcing, topography, and friction

Author: N. Hirose, I. Fukumori, V. Zlotnicki and Rui M. Ponte
Date: 
May 16, 2001
Type: 
Journal Article
Venue: 
Journal of Geophysical Research
Citation: 

Hirose, N., I. Fukumori, V. Zlotnicki, and R. M. Ponte (2001), Modeling the high-frequency barotropic response of the ocean to atmospheric disturbances: Sensitivity to forcing, topography, and friction, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 30,987–30,995, doi:10.1029/2000JC000763.

This study examines high-frequency sea level variations forced by changes in surface atmospheric pressure and wind and their sensitivity to different forcing mechanisms, bottom topography resolution, and amount of friction in a barotropic ocean model. Optimal model performance, defined in terms of the explained variance in satellite altimeter and bottom pressure data, is found when using relatively strong friction, equivalent to a damping timescale of only a few days over the deep ocean, and topography with minimal smoothing. Spatial variations of the optimal friction parameter seem to reflect the roughness of bottom topography. The model demonstrates skill in simulating the wind-driven response as well as the nonequilibrium response to atmospheric pressure variations.