EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A regional study of Bay of Bengal processes using radiation boundary condition in Modular Ocean Model

Siddhesh Tirodkar1, Manasa Ranjan Behera1,2, and Sridhar Balasubramanian1,3
Siddhesh Tirodkar et al.
  • 1Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, IDP Climate Studies, Mumbai, India (
  • 2Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Civil Engineering Department, India
  • 3Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mechanical Engineering Department, India

The ocean exchanges heat and mass with the atmosphere in form of shortwave and longwave radiations, precipitation, and evaporation. The regional scale ocean processes governed by this exchange play a vital role in modulating the local dynamics of the Indian Ocean. For instance, the meso-scale eddies and waves control the ocean vertical temperature structure, mixed layer depth, and the thermocline. The Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS) recommends the need of proper understanding of heat budget in the Indian Ocean to resolve the mesoscale and submesoscale processes, which trigger large scale ocean circulation, cyclonic eddies, plumes etc. In a regional domain, the stability of ocean also depends on the local parameters, namely, wind pattern, precipitation, runoff and exchange of heat and mass fluxes near the domain boundary. The main objective of this study is to understand the effect of atmospheric wind and solar radiation on the ocean surface and sub-surface characteristics using Modular Ocean Model (MOM5).

A regional domain in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) is selected, which has unique features, such as, large amount of freshwater flux, seasonal wind reversal and high amount of solar radiation due the geographic location. The dynamics in BoB is important for understanding the Indian summer and winter monsoon seasons and associated weather patterns. A regional ocean modelling approach is adopted using MOM5 with horizontal grid resolution (0.250) while maintaining the vertical grid-size as 1m near the surface region which increases with depth. For the regional domain, radiation open boundary condition (OBC) is implemented on three lateral boundaries of domain, based on the technique proposed by Orlanski (1976). The OBC at the lateral boundaries help in smooth exchange of current and tracers. K-profile parameterization (KPP) vertical mixing scheme is used that accounts for effects of shear, wave breaking, and double diffusion. The model is started from a state of rest and simulated for a period of 10 years using 6-hourly solar radiation (Japanese 25-year reanalysis (JRA-25)) and daily averaged wind stress (SODA reanalysis) dataset. After five years of model spin-up, the last five years of simulated output is considered to ensure consistency of model results. Heat budget calculation shows good agreement with WHOI OA Air-Sea Fluxes (OAFlux). Smooth exchange of mass and fluxes is observed near boundary, which confirms successful implementation of OBC. Implementation of KPP scheme enhances mixing in the upper ocean layers with more realistic thermocline formation and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE). The model is able to mimic the seasonal variability in the ocean currents enforced due to winds. The Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is in good agreement with SODA reanalysis data.

A plume like mesoscale feature in the SST plot is captured in the present study (that is also observed in microwave SST), but found to be missing in earlier BoB study with sponge boundary conditions. Finer scale resolution (0.1250) study is in progress, which is expected to show secondary mesoscale structures and their evolution. The results from this study would help in better understanding of the influence regional-scale processes on local ocean dynamics.

How to cite: Tirodkar, S., Behera, M. R., and Balasubramanian, S.: A regional study of Bay of Bengal processes using radiation boundary condition in Modular Ocean Model, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-513,, 2019

This abstract will not be presented.


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