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A simple approach to adjust tidal forcing in fjord models


To model currents in a fjord accurate tidal forcing is of extreme importance. Due to complex topography with narrow and shallow straits, the tides in the innermost parts of a fjord are both shifted in phase and altered in amplitude compared to the tides in the open water outside the fjord. Commonly, coastal tide information extracted from global or regional models is used on the boundary of the fjord model. Since tides vary over short distances in shallower waters close to the coast, the global and regional tidal forcings are usually too coarse to achieve sufficiently accurate tides in fjords. We present a straightforward method to remedy this problem by simply adjusting the tides to fit the observed tides at the entrance of the fjord. To evaluate the method, we present results from the Oslofjord, Norway. A model for the fjord is first run using raw tidal forcing on its open boundary. By comparing modelled and observed time series of water level at a tidal gauge station close to the open boundary of the model, a factor for the amplitude and a shift in phase are computed. The amplitude factor and the phase shift are then applied to produce adjusted tidal forcing at the open boundary. Next, we rerun the fjord model using the adjusted tidal forcing. The results from the two runs are then compared to independent observations inside the fjord in terms of amplitude and phases of the various tidal components, the total tidal water level, and the depth integrated tidal currents. The results show improvements in the modelled tides in both the outer, and more importantly, the inner parts of the fjord.

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Correspondence to Karina Hjelmervik.

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Responsible Editor: Martin Verlaan

This article is part of the Topical Collection on the 18th Joint Numerical Sea Modelling Group Conference, Oslo, Norway, 10–12 May 2016

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Hjelmervik, K., Kristensen, N.M., Staalstrøm, A. et al. A simple approach to adjust tidal forcing in fjord models. Ocean Dynamics 67, 949–958 (2017).

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  • Tides
  • ROMS
  • Tidal atlas
  • Tidal forcing
  • Fjord model