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Ocean Surface Dynamics in the Bay of Biscay

Flavien Gouillon, Yves Morel, Rémy Baraille
(Abstract received 12/21/2010 for session X)

The mixed layer is a key component in studies of climate, biological productivity and marine pollution. Thus, achieving an accurate representation of the mixed layer depth (MLD) is of particular importance in ocean numerical modeling. This study focus on an abnormal deepening of the MLD at the end of summer in the Bay of Biscay using the HYCOM model for the SHOM North East Atlantic configuration. The inaccurate representation of the MLD can be attributed to the physics of the vertical mixing scheme (e.g., KPP), the numerics (e.g., vertical grid discretization), and the uncertainties in the atmospheric forcing. Idealized 1D (i.e., no advection) experiments are used to investigate which parameter is dominant on controlling the MLD. Preliminary results showing the impact of the model vertical grid resolution on the MLD are shown. Future work to tackle the problem are also presented.

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2011 LOM Workshop, Miami, Florida February 7 - 9, 2011