Articles | Volume 21, issue 1
31 Jan 2003
 | 31 Jan 2003

High resolution simulations on the North Aegean Sea seasonal circulation

V. H. Kourafalou and K. Barbopoulos

Abstract. The seasonal characteristics of the circulation in the North Aegean Sea are examined with the aid of a climatological type simulation (three-year run with perpetual year forcing) on a fine resolution grid (2.5 km by 2.5 km). The model is based on the Princeton Ocean Model with a parameterisation of plume dynamics that is employed for the input of waters with hydrographic properties that are different than the properties of basin waters, as the Black Sea Water (BSW) outflow through the Dardanelles Strait and riverine sources. The model is nested with a sequence of coarser regional and basin-wide models that provide for the long-term interaction between the study area and the Eastern Mediterranean at large. The results are employed to discuss the response of the North Aegean to the important circulation forcing mechanisms in the region, namely wind stress, heat and salt fluxes, buoyancy due to rivers and the BSW outflow (which is low in salinity and occasionally low in temperature) and the interaction with the Southern Aegean. The high resolution allows for the detailed representation of the complicated topography that presides in the region. This helps produce a rich eddy field and it allows for variability in the pathways of BSW that has implications in the basin hydrography and circulation.

Key words. Oceanography: general (continental shelf processes; numerical modeling)