Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 61, Issue 11, pp 1823–1844 | Cite as

Influence of high-resolution wind forcing on hydrodynamic modeling of the Gulf of Lions

  • Amandine SchaefferEmail author
  • Pierre Garreau
  • Anne Molcard
  • Philippe Fraunié
  • Yann Seity
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Joint Numerical Sea Modelling Group Workshop 2010


The impact of the choice of high-resolution atmospheric forcing on ocean summertime circulation in the Gulf of Lions (GoL; Mediterranean Sea) is evaluated using three different datasets: AROME (2.5 km, 1 h), ALADIN (9.5 km, 3 h), and MM5 (9 km, 3 h). A short-term ocean simulation covering a 3-month summer period was performed on a 400-m configuration of the GoL. The main regional features of both wind and oceanic dynamics were well-reproduced by all three atmospheric models. Yet, at smaller scales and for specific hydrodynamic processes, some differences became apparent. Inertial oscillations and mesoscale variability were accentuated when high-resolution forcing was used. Sensitivity tests suggest a predominant role for spatial rather than temporal resolution of wind. The determinant influence of wind stress curl was evidenced, both in the representation of a mesoscale eddy structure and in the generation of a specific upwelling cell in the north-western part of the gulf.


Coastal modeling High resolution atmospheric forcing Gulf of Lions Wind stress curl Upwelling 



The research was supported by IFREMER and Météo-France in the framework of a PhD grant and by GIRAC Pôle Mer project. The authors would like to thank ACRI ST for managing the MM5 configuration and gratefully acknowledge the Medchange program and, in particular, Nathaniel Bensoussan for providing the Riou temperature time series. Most of the simulations were run using IFREMER computation facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amandine Schaeffer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pierre Garreau
    • 3
  • Anne Molcard
    • 1
  • Philippe Fraunié
    • 1
  • Yann Seity
    • 4
  1. 1.LSEET, Université du Sud Toulon-VarLa GardeFrance
  2. 2.IFREMER, LER PACLa Seyne sur MerFrance
  3. 3.IFREMER, DYNECO/PHYSEDPlouzanéFrance
  4. 4.Météo-France CNRM-GAMEToulouse CedexFrance

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