Effects of lateral processes on the seasonal water stratification of the Gulf of Finland: 3-D NEMO-based model study
Abstract. This paper aims to fill the gaps in knowledge of processes affecting the seasonal water stratification in the Gulf of Finland (GOF). We used a state-of-the-art modelling framework NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) designed for oceanographic research, operational oceanography, seasonal forecasting, and climate studies to build an eddy-resolving model of the GOF. To evaluate the model skill and performance, two different solutions were obtained on 0.5 km eddy-resolving and commonly used 2 km grids for a 1-year simulation. We also explore the efficacy of non-hydrostatic effect (convection) parameterizations available in NEMO for coastal application. It is found that the solutions resolving submesoscales have a more complex mixed layer structure in the regions of the GOF directly affected by the upwelling/downwelling and intrusions from the open Baltic Sea. Presented model estimations of the upper mixed layer depth are in good agreement with in situ CTD (BED) data. A number of model sensitivity tests to the vertical mixing parameterization confirm the model's robustness. Further progress in the submesoscale process simulation and understanding is apparently not connected mainly with the finer resolution of the grids, but with the use of non-hydrostatic models because of the failure of the hydrostatic approach at submesoscale.