Publication details.


Author(s):E. Aguiar, B. Mourre, M. Juza, E. Reyes, J. Hernández-Lasheras, E. Cutolo, E. Mason, J. Tintoré
Title:Multi-platform model assessment in the Western Mediterranean Sea: impact of downscaling on the surface circulation and mesoscale activity
JCR Impact Factor:2.195
Issue No.:2
Abstract:© 2019, The Author(s).In numerical ocean modeling, dynamical downscaling is the approach consisting in generating high-resolution regional simulations exploiting the information from coarser resolution models for initial and boundary conditions. Here we evaluate the impacts of downscaling the 1/16o (~ 6–7 km) CMEMS Mediterranean reanalysis model solution into a high-resolution 2-km free-run simulation over the Western Mediterranean basin, focusing on the surface circulation and mesoscale activity. Multi-platform observations from satellite-borne altimeters, high-frequency radar, fixed moorings, and gliders are used for this evaluation, providing insights into the variability from basin to coastal scales. Results show that the downscaling leads to an improvement of the time-averaged surface circulation, especially in the topographically complex area of the Balearic Sea. In particular, the path of the Balearic current is improved in the high-resolution model, also positively affecting transports through the Ibiza Channel. While the high-resolution model produces a similar number of large eddies as CMEMS Med Rea and altimetry, it generates a much larger number of small-scale eddies. Looking into the variability, in the absence of data assimilation, the high-resolution model is not able to properly reproduce the observed phases of mesoscale structures, especially in the southern part of the domain. This negatively affects the representation of the variability of the surface currents interacting with these eddies, highlighting the importance of data assimilation in the high-resolution ocean model in this region to constrain the evolution of these mesoscale structures.

Related staff

  • Joaquin Tintoré Subirana
  • Eugenio Cutolo
  • Baptiste Mourre
  • Jaime Hernández Lasheras
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Marine Technologies, Operational and Coastal Oceanography