Vertical structure variability in a seasonal simulation of a medium-resolution regional model of the Eastern South Pacific Article - 2008

Boris Dewitte, Marcel Ramos, Vincent Echevin, Oscar Pizarro, Yves Du Penhoat

Boris Dewitte, Marcel Ramos, Vincent Echevin, Oscar Pizarro, Yves Du Penhoat, « Vertical structure variability in a seasonal simulation of a medium-resolution regional model of the Eastern South Pacific  », Progress in Oceanography, 2008, pp. 120-137. ISSN 0079-6611

Abstract

A seasonal simulation from a medium-resolution ocean general circulation mode (OGCM) is used to investigate the vertical structure variability of the Southeast Pacific (SEP). The focus is on the extra-tropical Rossby wave (ETRW) variability and associated forcing mechanism. Some aspects of the model mean state are validated from available observations, which justifies a vertical mode decomposition of the model variability. The analysis of the baroclinic mode contributions to sea level indicates that the gravest mode is dominant over most of the domain at all frequencies. Annual variability is on average twice as large as the semi-annual variability which is confined near the coast for all the modes. The first baroclinic mode contribution to the annual cycle exhibits a clear westward propagation north of the critical latitude. The higher-order modes only contribute near the coast where they are associated with vertically propagating energy. The residual variability, which is the energy at all timescales other than annual and semi-annual periods peaks offshore between similar to 20 degrees S and similar to 30 degrees S for all baroclinic modes. The third baroclinic mode also exhibits a relative maximum variability off the coast of Peru south of the critical latitude of the annual cycle (similar to 13 degrees S), where the Peru-Chile Undercurrent is the most intense. Sensitivity experiments to the atmospheric and boundary forcing suggest that the residual variability results from the non-linear interaction between annual Rossby waves and the mean flow, while the annual ETRWs in the model result from the summed-contribution from both the local wind stress and remote equatorial forcing. Overall the study extends the classical analysis of sea level variability in the SEP based on linear theory, and suggests that the peculiarities of the baroclinic modes need to be taken into account for interpreting the sea level variability and understanding its connection with the equatorial variability. (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Voir la notice complète sur HAL

Actualités