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An investigation into transports and the long-term residual circulation of the North-West European shelf using three hydrodynamic models
Smith, J.A.; Damm, P.; Skogen, M.D.; Flather, R.A.; Pätsch, J. (1996). An investigation into transports and the long-term residual circulation of the North-West European shelf using three hydrodynamic models, in: NOWESP: 2. Compilation of scientific reports. pp. 6 [1-29]
In: (1996). NOWESP: 2. Compilation of scientific reports. North-West European Shelf Programme (NOWESP): Hamburg. 324 pp., more

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  • Smith, J.A.
  • Damm, P.
  • Skogen, M.D.
  • Flather, R.A.
  • Pätsch, J.

    Recent modelling studies of the circulation of the north-west European shelf have been undertaken at three institutes; Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), Institut fur Meereskunde (IfM), and Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in which long-term meteorological forcing data have been applied to drive each institute's own hydrodynamic model. These models have been run for periods of up to 39 years (1955-1993) - made possible by the use of a long set of meteorological data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (DNMI). The forcing data are of good quality as is reflected in the results from validation of the POL and IMR models. These studies have provided a valuable insight into the long-term shelf circulation and the nature of its variability. The quantification of volume transports through key shelf sections has been completed and, where possible, comparisons have been made with other modelling and observational studies. Calculated transports for North Sea sections confmn the generally accepted circulation pattern although difficulties arise in the Irish Sea due to model limitations (low resolution and unsuitable advection schemes). The three models show similar patterns of variability in the water volume transports calculated for the sections. Mean values compare well in the southern North Sea where the water is well mixed, however large differences in mean transport values occur for northern North Sea sections due to the differences in model physics. IfM and IMR models are baroclinic and as such provide a more realistic representation of the transport through these deep water sections where baroclinic processes are important. Spectral analysis of the 39 year model runs shows a dominant annual cycle and less significant longer period signals of 7-10 years. It has also been shown that applying a climatologically averaged meteorological data set as forcing to the model will represent well the climatological mean circulation derived from hourly values.

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