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3.9 Barotropic Ocean Gyre In Cartesian Coordinates

(in directory: verification/tutorial_barotropic_gyre/)

This example experiment demonstrates using the MITgcm to simulate a Barotropic, wind-forced, ocean gyre circulation. The files for this experiment can be found in the verification directory tutorial_barotropic_gyre. The experiment is a numerical rendition of the gyre circulation problem similar to the problems described analytically by Stommel in 1966 Stommel [1948] and numerically in Holland et. al Holland and Lin [975a].

In this experiment the model is configured to represent a rectangular enclosed box of fluid, $ 1200 \times 1200 $  km in lateral extent. The fluid is $ 5$  km deep and is forced by a constant in time zonal wind stress, $ \tau_x$ , that varies sinusoidally in the ``north-south'' direction. Topologically the grid is Cartesian and the coriolis parameter $ f$ is defined according to a mid-latitude beta-plane equation

$\displaystyle f(y) = f_{0}+\beta y$ (3.1)

where $ y$ is the distance along the ``north-south'' axis of the simulated domain. For this experiment $ f_{0}$ is set to $ 10^{-4}s^{-1}$ in (3.1) and $ \beta = 10^{-11}s^{-1}m^{-1}$ .

The sinusoidal wind-stress variations are defined according to

$\displaystyle \tau_x(y) = \tau_{0}\sin(\pi \frac{y}{L_y})$ (3.2)

where $ L_{y}$ is the lateral domain extent ($ 1200$  km) and $ \tau_0$ is set to $ 0.1N m^{-2}$ .

Figure 3.1 summarizes the configuration simulated.

Figure 3.1: Schematic of simulation domain and wind-stress forcing function for barotropic gyre numerical experiment. The domain is enclosed bu solid walls at $ x=$  0,1200km and at $ y=$  0,1200km.
\begin{figure}\centerline{
\epsfxsize .95\textwidth
\epsfbox{s_examples/barotropic_gyre/simulation_config.eps}
}\end{figure}



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