Ocean Mixed Layer responses to intense meteorological events during HyMeX-SOP1 from a high-resolution ocean simulation

Abstract : Keywords: Air–sea fluxes Extreme events HyMeX Ocean Mixed Layer Western Mediterranean Sea a b s t r a c t The western Mediterranean Sea is a source of heat and humidity for the atmospheric low-levels in autumn. Large exchanges take place at the air–sea interface, especially during intense meteorological events, such as heavy precipitation and/or strong winds. The Ocean Mixed Layer (OML), which is quite thin at this time of year ($20 m-depth), evolves rapidly under such intense fluxes. This study investigates the ocean responses under intense meteorological events that occurred during HyMeX SOP1 (5 September–6 November 2012). The OML conditions and tendencies are derived from a high-resolution ocean simulation using the sub-regional eddy-resolving NEMO-WMED36 model (1/ 36°-resolution), driven at the surface by hourly air–sea fluxes from the AROME-WMED forecasts (2.5 km-resolution). The high space–time resolution of the atmospheric forcing allows the highly variable surface fluxes, which induce rapid changes in the OML, to be well represented and linked to small-scale atmospheric processes. First, the simulation results are compared to ocean profiles from several platforms obtained during the campaign. Then, this study focuses on the short-term OML evolution during three events. In particular, we examine the OML cooling and mixing under strong wind events, potentially associated with upwelling, as well as the surface freshening under heavy precipitation events, producing low-salinity lenses. Tendencies demonstrate the major role of the surface forcing in the temperature and/or salinity anomaly formation. At the same time, mixing [restratification] rapidly occurs. As expected, the sign of this tendency term is very dependent on the local vertical stratification which varies at fine scale in the Mediterranean. It also controls [disables] the vertical propagation. In the Alboran Sea, the strong dynamics redistribute the OML anomalies, sometimes up to 7 days after their formation. Elsewhere, despite local amplitude modulations due to internal wave excitation by strong winds, the integrated effect of the horizontal advection is almost null on the anom-alies' spread and decay. Finally, diffusion has a small contribution.
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Ocean Modelling, Elsevier, 2014, pp.1463-5003. 〈10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.09.009〉
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Cindy Lebeaupin Brossier, Thomas Arsouze, Karine Béranger, Marie-Noëlle Bouin, Emilie Bresson, et al.. Ocean Mixed Layer responses to intense meteorological events during HyMeX-SOP1 from a high-resolution ocean simulation. Ocean Modelling, Elsevier, 2014, pp.1463-5003. 〈10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.09.009〉. 〈hal-01138816〉

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