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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 6
Ann. Geophys., 18, 706–727, 2000
© European Geosciences Union 2000
Ann. Geophys., 18, 706–727, 2000
© European Geosciences Union 2000

  30 Jun 2000

30 Jun 2000

Barotropic wind-driven circulation patterns in a closed rectangular basin of variable depth influenced by a peninsula or an island

B. V. Chubarenko2,1, Y. Wang1, I. P. Chubarenko2,1, and K. Hutter1 B. V. Chubarenko et al.
  • 1Institute of Mechanics, Darmstadt University of Technology, Hochschulstr. 1, D-64289 Darmstadt, Germany
  • 2Laboratory of Coastal Systems Study, Atlantic Branch of P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Science, Prospect Mira, 1, 236000, Kalingrad, Russia
  • Correspondence to: Y. Wang
  • e-mail:

Abstract. We study how a coastal obstruction (peninsula or coastal island) affects the three-dimensional barotropic currents in an oblong rectangular basin with variable bathymetry across the basin width. The transverse depth profile is asymmetric and the peninsula or island lies in the middle of the long side of the rectangle. A semi-spectral model for the Boussinesq-approximated shallow water equations, developed in Haidvogel et al. and altered for semi-implicit numerical integration in time in Wang and Hutter, is used to find the steady barotropic state circulation pattern to external winds. The structural (qualitative) rearrangements and quanti2tative features of the current pattern are studied under four principal wind directions and different lengths of the peninsula and its inclination relative to the shore. The essentially non-linear relationships of the water flux between the two sub-basins (formed by the obstructing peninsula) and the corresponding cross-sectional area left open are found and analysed. It is further analysed whether the depth-integrated model, usually adopted by others, is meaningful when applied to the water exchange problems. The flow through the channel narrowing is quantitatively estimated and compared with the three-dimensional results. The dynamics of the vortex structure and the identification of the up-welling/down-welling zones around the obstruction are discussed in detail. The influence of the transformation of the peninsula into a coastal island on the global basin circulation is considered as are the currents in the channel. The geometric and physical reasons for the anisotropy of the current structure which prevail through all obtained solutions are also discussed.

Key words: Oceanography: general (limnology; numerical modeling) - Oceanography: physical (currents)

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