Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 67–81 | Cite as

The influence of initial conditions and open boundary conditions on shelf circulation in a 3D ocean-shelf model of the North East Atlantic



Data from climatology (World Ocean Atlas) and two large scale operational ocean models (Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM), UK Met. Office and the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM), US Naval Research Laboratory) are used to give initial and open boundary conditions for a northeast Atlantic implementation of the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Model System (POLCOMS). We study the effects of using the different datasets on the temperature fields and the circulation. On the continental shelf, comparisons of POLCOMS output with Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer sea surface temperature data suggest that the effect of using different ocean model initial and boundary conditions is small and that, after 15 months of model time, the impact of the different initial conditions is negligible. Stronger evidence of influence is seen in the deeper oceanic regions of the domain. Volume fluxes through sections governing flow into and out of the North Sea, through the Irish Sea and along the shelf edge show that the impact of the different boundary conditions is small on the shelf but significant elsewhere. These results are contrasted with the use of climatology to assess the value of these Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment ocean model products.


NE Atlantic North Sea Ocean-shelf exchange 



We thank Ruth Preller and Pam Posey of the Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, USA for supplying the NCOM data and Martin Holt of the UK Met Office for supplying the FOAM data. AVHRR data from the NOAA/NASA Ocean Pathfinder satellite were downloaded from http://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/sst and World Ocean Atlas 2005 climate data from http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/WOA05/pr_woa05.html. This work was in part funded by the NERC EO Centre of Excellence CASIX, and the EC FP5 Integrated Programme MERSEA (SIP3-CT-2003-502885).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah L. Wakelin
    • 1
  • Jason T. Holt
    • 1
  • Roger Proctor
    • 1
  1. 1.Proudman Oceanographic LaboratoryLiverpoolUK

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