Reconciling estimates of the free surface height in Lagrangian vertical coordinate ocean models with mode-split time stepping

Robert Hallberg, Alistair Adcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

In ocean models that use a mode splitting algorithm for time-stepping the internal- and external-gravity modes, the external and internal solutions each can be used to provide an estimate of the free surface height evolution. In models with time-invariant vertical coordinate spacing, it is standard to force the internal solutions for the free surface height to agree with the external solution by specifying the appropriate vertically averaged velocities; because this is a linear problem, it is relatively straightforward. However, in Lagrangian vertical coordinate ocean models with potentially vanishing layers, nonlinear discretizations of the continuity equations must be used for each interior layer. This paper discusses the options for enforcing agreement between the internal and external estimates of the free surface height, along with the consequences of each choice, and suggests an optimal, essentially exact, approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Modelling
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Free surface
  • Lagrangian vertical coordinate
  • Ocean model
  • Split time stepping

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