Nonhydrostatic simulations of the regional circulation in the Monterey Bay area

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Tseng, Y. -H., & Breaker, L. C. (2007). Nonhydrostatic simulations of the regional circulation in the Monterey Bay area. Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans, 112(12). doi:10.1029/2007JC004093
TitleNonhydrostatic simulations of the regional circulation in the Monterey Bay area
AuthorsY. Tseng, C. Breaker
AbstractThe regional circulation in the vicinity of Monterey Bay is complex and highly variable. We use a one-way coupled, nonhydrostatic version of the Dietrich Center for Air Sea Technology (DieCAST) ocean model to simulate the regional circulation. Seasonally varying local wind stress, topographic irregularities, coastal upwelling, and forcing from the open ocean are all important in this region. Satellite imagery often shows a cyclonic eddy inside the bay and an anticyclonic eddy outside the bay. The offshore anticyclonic eddy is also associated with a year-round anticyclonic eddy over the Monterey Submarine Canyon (MSC). The offshore eddy is better organized during winter. It is found that the California Undercurrent (200-400 m) does not enter the bay itself but is diverted offshore past the entrance of the bay, presumably to reform farther north along the coast. The main branch flows northward contributing to the deep anticyclonic eddy located approximately 50 km offshore of Monterey Bay. The simulations show that vertical motion is greater during summer than winter, as expected. During spring upwelling, the deep waters often upwell along the walls of the canyon and then spread and mix with surrounding waters. The deep circulation enhances mixing significantly due to the topography. We further investigate the regional circulation by comparing it with the cases where the deep canyon was filled gradually. Vortex stretching over the canyon just beyond the entrance to Monterey Bay and along the adjacent continental slopes contributes to cyclonic circulation at deeper levels. Vertical sections of velocity along the axis of MSC indicate horizontal and vertical patterns of flow that are generally consistent with past observations on the circulation of Monterey Bay. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
SubjectsAtmospheric movements, Climate change, Coastal zones, Flow patterns, Oceanography, Satellite imagery, Topography, Wind stress, bay, circulation modeling, computer simulation, continental slope, eddy, nearshore dynamics, oceanic circulation, upwelling, vertical movement, vortex flow, wind forcing, California, Monterey Bay, North America, United States