|Review of 'Circulation of the European Northwest Shelf: A lagrangian perspective' by Ricker & Stanev.|
I have read the revised document, and found it significantly improved. It can be accepted with minor changes.
I have two slightly more substantial points:
1. It is customary to present differences as 'scenario minus control'. The authors do the reverse, which makes it more difficult for me (and presumably many other readers) to interpret the plots/results. For instance, if tides are removed, and this results in a decrease in particle density somewhere, the difference plots show a positive value and vice versa. It is now clearly indicated how it was done, so not necessarily a show-stopper, but I would urge the authors to change this to improve the readability. It will likely also improve the narrative.
2. The conclusions are very much formulated in terms of the fate of particles. However, the particles (in this study) are a means to an end, rather than the purpose of the study, which is to learn more about the ocean dynamics. Should the conclusions be not refrased? In the very least, I think the authors should add a few lines to the conclusions on what they have learned about their first objective (l. 55).
I also have a few more minor remarks/suggestions/typos/grammar, which I list below.
l. 18. persist in yearly
l. 22. vertical velocities in
l. 31. contributions from
l. 34. has not yet been widely investigated.
l. 42. around the southwest of Ireland
l. 60. the fronts. Freshwater
l. 84. of the velocity field
l. 100. by tides, and eddies
l. 111. atmospheric model: please give the name and reference(s).
l. 113. climatological river runoff: please give the source of these data and reference(s).
l. 113. tidal forcing: please give the source of these data and reference(s).
l. 113. Please also provide information on the open boundary conditions for temperature and salinity.
l. 114, l. 128. 1 January
l. 135. to reduce the effect of direct wind drag
l. 153. 2-D: horizontal?
l. 174. stripe: I understand that in German, both strip and stripe are translated as 'Streife'. In English, however, the two are subtly different. A stripe typically has (is!) a different colour from the surroundings. A strip can be a composed of a different material, or can be just a designation. So at this location, 'strip' should be used. There are other locations in the manuscript where 'stripe' can be used – please check carefully throughout.
l. 184. particles were traced for
Figure 2b: change the text next to the colorbar into 'velocity amplitude'
Figure 2. It is still not clear from the document if the plotted quantities are for the surface, the bottom or depth-averaged. Please state this explicitly in the caption.
l. 258. Remove 'Dutch'. The Netherlands has no coasts in the German Bight.
l. 267. Atlantic water into the
l. 268. from satellite observations (Pietrzak et al., 2011) [they used the observations, but don't own them]
l. 269. East Anglian Plume
l. 279. Overall, Fig. 2a-f support
l. 356. 12.42 h: The figure says 12 h. Please change and make consistent.
l. 383. the continental slope.
l. 391. which drive particles away from the western
l. 394. occurs mainly and south: there's a bit of sentence missing here?
l. 396. 'narrow channel': has a name: the Silver Pit
l. 397. 'basin to its southeast': has a name: the Oyster Grounds
l. 407. remove: therein
l. 410. The instantaneous particle positions (??)
Figure 5. Please replace 'monthly average' by 'Annual mean'.
Conclusions: as each of these could be cited/taken out of context by others, it should be stated specifically that they hold for neutrally buoyant particles (particles with different properties may well give different results). So:
l. 619: accumulate neutrally buoyant particles
l. 625. accumulation areas for neutrally buoyant particles
l. 630. remove neutrally buoyant particles
l. 632. patterns for neutrally buoyant particles on the
To be completely accurate, the caveat that vertical turbulent diffusion of particles was neglected should be reiterated in the conclusions section.
l. 642. regimes at the 10 km scale. [The model does not resolve eddies slightly above and smaller than the horizontal resolution. These, however, do exist, especially near fronts and changes in topography. So this result may well be (or is very likely), at least to some extent, a model artifact!].