Numerical study of surface water circulation around Sekisei Lagoon, southwest Japan
This paper discusses the variability of surface currents around Sekisei Lagoon using a nested grid ocean circulation model. We developed a triple-nested grid system that consists of a coarse-resolution (1/60° or ∼1.85 km) model off Taiwan, an intermediate-resolution (1/300° or ∼370 m) model around the Yaeyama Islands, and a fine-resolution (1/900° or ∼123 m) model of Sekisei Lagoon. The nested grid system was forced by wind and heat flux calculated from six-hourly atmospheric reanalysis data and integrated over the period from May to July 2003. The coarse-resolution model was driven by lateral boundary conditions calculated from daily ocean reanalysis data to include realistic variation of the Kuroshio and mesoscale eddies with spatial scales of ∼500–700 km in the open ocean. The tidal forcing was included in the intermediate-resolution model by interpolating sea level data obtained from a data-assimilative tidal model. The results were then used to drive the fine-resolution model to simulate the surface water circulation around Sekisei lagoon. Model results show that (1) currents inside the lagoon are mainly driven by tide and wind; (2) there exists a strong southwestward current along the bottom slope in the southeast portion of the lagoon; the current is mainly driven by remote mesoscale eddies and at times intensified by the local wind; (3) the flow relaxation scheme is effective in reducing biases along the open boundaries. The simulated currents were used to examine the retention and dispersion of passive particles in the surface layer. Results show that the surface dispersion in the strong open ocean current region is significantly higher than that inside the lagoon.
KeywordsNumerical model Sekisei Lagoon Yaeyama Islands Hydrodynamic dispersion
This work was supported by the Global Environmental Research Fund (F-082) of the Ministry of Environment, Japan. The JCOPE2 reanalysis data were created as a part of the Japan Coastal Ocean Predictability Experiment (JCOPE) promoted by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). Dr. Daisuke Ambe kindly provided the gridded surface geostrophic current data to the authors. Four anonymous reviewers are thanked for their many valuable and constructive comments and suggestions.
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