Rescaled height coordinates for accurate representation of free-surface flows in ocean circulation models

Alistair Adcroft, Jean Michel Campin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conventional height coordinate models have previously represented free-surface variations by a variable thickness upper layer. We present a rescaled height coordinate, which we call z*, that treats the time-dependent free surface as a coordinate surface. This coordinate is isomorphic with the atmospheric η coordinate, sometimes known as the step-mountain coordinate. The z* coordinate has also been used in a coastal ocean model. However, unlike both these implementations, here we use the finite volume method within the z* coordinate framework, allowing an accurate representation of topography. The resulting scheme provides a very accurate representation of motions over steep topography in a three-dimensional general circulation model, even with fast and large amplitude free-surface variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-284
Number of pages16
JournalOcean Modelling
Volume7
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Keywords

  • Coordinate transformation
  • Free surface
  • Internal wave generation
  • Ocean model
  • Topography
  • Vertical coordinate

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