Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Ocean Sci., 2, 27–41, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2-27-2006
Ocean Sci., 2, 27–41, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2-27-2006

  05 Jul 2006

05 Jul 2006

The circulation of the Persian Gulf: a numerical study

J. Kämpf1 and M. Sadrinasab2 J. Kämpf and M. Sadrinasab
  • 1School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders Research Centre for Coast and Catchment Environments, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  • 2Khorramshahr University of Nautical Sciences & Technology, Khorramshahr, Iran

Abstract. We employ a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model (COHERENS) in a fully prognostic mode to study the circulation and water mass properties of the Persian Gulf – a large inverse estuary. Our findings, which are in good agreement with observational evidence, suggest that the Persian Gulf experiences a distinct seasonal cycle in which a gulf-wide cyclonic overturning circulation establishes in spring and summer, but this disintegrates into mesoscale eddies in autumn and winter. Establishment of the gulf-wide circulation coincides with establishment of thermal stratification and strengthening of the baroclinic exchange circulation through the Strait of Hormuz. Winter cooling of extreme saline (>45) water in shallow regions along the coast of United Arab Emirates is a major driver of this baroclinic circulation.