|Assessment of the coastal dynamics in a nested zoom and feedback on the boundary current: the North-Western Mediterranean case |
(Article) Publié: Ocean Dynamics, vol. 66 p.1529-1542 (2016)
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The Northern Current (hereafter NC), the major current in the North-Western Mediterranean (hereafter NWM) basin, has been largely investigated in the litterature for its mesoscale features. Its behaviour in the Var region can strongly condition the downstream flow along the Gulf of Lions shelf and Spain coast, making this zone a key area. However, the sub-mesoscale dynamics of the area and its potential impacts on the rest of the flow are not well known. This work reveals the potential interest of better simulating high-resolution dynamics in a restricted area and how this could improve the circulation representation in a larger area. To address this question, a very high resolution configuration (1/192∘) nested in an already existing high-resolution configuration (1/64∘) has been developed, using the NEMO model. Comparisons with observations show that the very high-resolution changes only weakly the mean NC characteristics but can significantly modify individual mesoscale events such as eddies and meanders occurring in the zoomed area. Furthermore, the coastal dynamics and episodic intrusions of a NC secondary branch inside a semi-enclosed bay appear to be significantly enhanced. In a second stage, the assessment of the feedback of this improved dynamics on the regional mesoscale dynamics is shown, this being allowed by the two-way coupling option of the embedded configuration using AGRIF.