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Tide Simulation Using Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS)

Xiaochun Wang(1) , Changming Dong(2) , Zhijin Li(1) , Yi Chao(1) , and James McWilliams(2)

(1) JPL/Caltech, 4800 Oak Grove Dr. , Pasadena, CA 91109, United States
(2) UCLA, IGPP, UCLA, Los Angeles , CA 90095, United States


A three dimensional general circulation model (ROMS) is used to simulate tides along the central western coast of US. The model is three-level nested with the finest resolution of 1.6 km in the Monterey Bay region. The motivation of the study is to test the capability of ROMS in simulating tides and to develop an operational forecasting system for the region. Forced by tidal signal along the open boundaries in west, north and south directions, ROMS can simulate tidal signal reasonably well in the region. The total error of the amplitudes of eight major constituents, measured by root of summed squares, is less than 4 cm in the open ocean compared with tide amplitudes estimated by satellite altimetry observation. Along the coastal region, the error of amplitudes is less than 6 cm which is about 10% of the amplitude of the most energetic M2 constituent. For these major tide constituents, the phase error is less than half hour. A comparison of hourly sea level for August of 2003 shows a RMS error of 8 cm, with slightly less error in the finest model domain. Comparing with barotropic tide models, the tide simulation from a general circulation model is not sensitive to model parameters such as bottom drag coefficient. The addition of tide signal in the ROMS model is a significant step toward an operational forecasting system of the Monterey Bay region.


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                 Last modified: 07.10.03