Exploring Submesoscale: A High Resolution ROMS simulation in the Western Mediterranean Sea

  • Speaker: Esther Capó, IMEDEA (UIB-CSIC)





Esporles, June 27, 2019.


Ocean circulation in the Western Mediterranean Sea (WMed) is characterized by processes covering a broad range of interacting scales. While mesoscale features are now fairly well understood, it was only two decades ago when major advances in satellite altimetry and in situ ocean observing systems allowed the detection of submesoscale currents (smc). Their spatial scales range from 0.1 to several kilometers in the horizontal and tens to hundreds of meters in the vertical, while their temporal evolution can last from hours to days or weeks.



Because, even today, these scales still constitute an observational barrier to smc research, numerical models provide the best tool to investigate submesoscale processes. With PhD research guidance from Alejandro Orfila and Evan Mason, Esther Capó is performing a series of realistic, nested simulations of the Western Mediterranean Sea in a hindcast mode using CROCO model. Almost four years of simulation are now in hand for the Alboran Sea.



At the largest horizontal grid resolution achieved (500 m), solutions exhibit clear and strong submesoscale signals. Preliminary analysis of this simulation suggests the prevalence of two principal sources of smc's in this region: interaction of mean and mesoscale currents with topography and frontogenesis. Because circulation in Alboran Sea is remarkably boundary influenced, our analysis suggests that both processes may interact with each other and should not be treated separatelly.





Date and Time: Monday, July 1, 11:00-12:00h

Place: IMEDEA Seminar Room