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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
02 Feb 2010
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A revision of this discussion paper for further review has not been submitted.
Wind forcing effects on coastal circulation and eddy formation around a cape
P. De Gaetano1, M. Burlando1, A. M. Doglioli2, and A. A. Petrenko2 1Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Genova, Genoa, Italy
2Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et de Biogéochimique, UMR 6535, OSU/Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille, Marseille, France
Abstract. This numerical study aims to assess the role of the wind stress and its resolution on the coastal circulation around the Promontorio of Portofino, a blunt cape in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Mediterranean). A high-resolution hydrodynamical numerical model, forced at the inflow open boundary by a coarser regional model, is run in three different configurations: no wind, 21-km and 7-km resolution winds. Moreover, the effect of using different values for the drag coefficient in the wind stress formulation is also tested. Sensitivity analysis of the mass transport and of the current velocity highlights that the greater effect of the wind is near the coast and the higher resolution wind forcing increases the intensity of a coastal countercurrent and of an eddy in the lee of the cape. A cluster analysis is performed to distinguish the main wind patterns and the main coastal flow patterns in the area under study for 2001–2003. It is shown that the typical wind regimes are coherent with the current ones highlighting the key role played by the wind in enhancing the coastal dynamics and the eddy formation around the cape.

Citation: De Gaetano, P., Burlando, M., Doglioli, A. M., and Petrenko, A. A.: Wind forcing effects on coastal circulation and eddy formation around a cape, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 7, 207-249, doi:10.5194/osd-7-207-2010, 2010.
P. De Gaetano et al.
P. De Gaetano et al.


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