Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Research article
08 Mar 2012
Research article |  | 08 Mar 2012

Towards a regional ocean forecasting system for the IBI (Iberia-Biscay-Ireland area): developments and improvements within the ECOOP project framework

S. Cailleau, J. Chanut, J.-M. Lellouche, B. Levier, C. Maraldi, G. Reffray, and M. G. Sotillo

Abstract. The regional ocean operational system remains a key element in downscaling from large scale (global or basin scale) systems to coastal ones. It enables the transition between systems in which the resolution and the resolved physics are quite different. Indeed, coastal applications need a system to predict local high frequency events (inferior to the day) such as storm surges, while deep sea applications need a system to predict large scale lower frequency ocean features. In the framework of the ECOOP project, a regional system for the Iberia-Biscay-Ireland area has been upgraded from an existing V0 version to a V2. This paper focuses on the improvements from the V1 system, for which the physics are close to a large scale basin system, to the V2 for which the physics are more adapted to shelf and coastal issues. Strong developments such as higher regional physics resolution in the NEMO Ocean General Circulation Model for tides, non linear free surface and adapted vertical mixing schemes among others have been implemented in the V2 version. Thus, regional thermal fronts due to tidal mixing now appear in the latest version solution and are quite well positioned. Moreover, simulation of the stratification in shelf areas is also improved in the V2.