Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Review article
26 Aug 2013
Review article |  | 26 Aug 2013

NEMO on the shelf: assessment of the Iberia–Biscay–Ireland configuration

C. Maraldi, J. Chanut, B. Levier, N. Ayoub, P. De Mey, G. Reffray, F. Lyard, S. Cailleau, M. Drévillon, E. A. Fanjul, M. G. Sotillo, P. Marsaleix, and the Mercator Research and Development Team

Abstract. This work describes the design and validation of a high-resolution (1/36°) ocean forecasting model over the "Iberian–Biscay–Irish" (IBI) area. The system has been set-up using the NEMO model (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean). New developments have been incorporated in NEMO to make it suitable to open- as well as coastal-ocean modelling. In this paper, we pursue three main objectives: (1) to give an overview of the model configuration used for the simulations; (2) to give a broad-brush account of one particular aspect of this work, namely consistency verification; this type of validation is conducted upstream of the implementation of the system before it is used for production and routinely validated; it is meant to guide model development in identifying gross deficiencies in the modelling of several key physical processes; and (3) to show that such a regional modelling system has potential as a complement to patchy observations (an integrated approach) to give information on non-observed physical quantities and to provide links between observations by identifying broader-scale patterns and processes. We concentrate on the year 2008. We first provide domain-wide consistency verification results in terms of barotropic tides, transports, sea surface temperature and stratification. We then focus on two dynamical subregions: the Celtic shelves and the Bay of Biscay slope and deep regions. The model–data consistency is checked for variables and processes such as tidal currents, tidal fronts, internal tides and residual elevation. We also examine the representation in the model of a seasonal pattern of the Bay of Biscay circulation: the warm extension of the Iberian Poleward Current along the northern Spanish coast (Navidad event) in the winter of 2007–2008.

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