Articles | Volume 16, issue 7
31 Jul 1998
31 Jul 1998

The effect of coastal upwelling on the sea-breeze circulation at Cabo Frio, Brazil: a numerical experiment

S. H. Franchito, V. B. Rao, J. L. Stech, and J. A. Lorenzzetti

Abstract. The effect of coastal upwelling on sea-breeze circulation in Cabo Frio (Brazil) and the feedback of sea-breeze on the upwelling signal in this region are investigated. In order to study the effect of coastal upwelling on sea-breeze a non-linear, three-dimensional, primitive equation atmospheric model is employed. The model considers only dry air and employs boundary layer formulation. The surface temperature is determined by a forcing function applied to the Earth's surface. In order to investigate the seasonal variations of the circulation, numerical experiments considering three-month means are conducted: January-February-March (JFM), April-May-June (AMJ), July-August-September (JAS) and October-November-December (OND). The model results show that the sea-breeze is most intense near the coast at all the seasons. The sea-breeze is stronger in OND and JFM, when the upwelling occurs, and weaker in AMJ and JAS, when there is no upwelling. Numerical simulations also show that when the upwelling occurs the sea-breeze develops and attains maximum intensity earlier than when it does not occur. Observations show a similar behavior. In order to verify the effect of the sea-breeze surface wind on the upwelling, a two-layer finite element ocean model is also implemented. The results of simulations using this model, forced by the wind generated in the sea-breeze model, show that the sea-breeze effectively enhances the upwelling signal.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (mesoscale meteorology; ocean-atmosphere interactions) · Oceanography (numerical modeling)