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

The Adriatic Sea modelling system: a nested approach

M. Zavatarelli and N. Pinardi

Abstract. A modelling system for the Adriatic Sea has been built within the framework of the Mediterranean Forecasting System Pilot Project. The modelling system consists of a hierarchy of three numerical models (whole Mediterranean Sea, whole Adriatic Sea, Northern Adriatic Basin) coupled among each other by simple one-way, off-line nesting techniques, to downscale the larger scale flow field to highly resolved coastal scale fields. Numerical simulations have been carried out under climatological surface forcing. Simulations were aimed to assess the effectiveness of the nesting techniques and the skill of the system to reproduce known features of the Adriatic Sea circulation phenomenology (main circulation features, dense water formation,flow at the Otranto Strait and coastal circulation characteristics over the northern Adriatic shelf), in view of the pre-operational use of the modelling system. This paper describes the modelling system setup, and discusses the simulation results for the whole Adriatic Sea and its northern basin, comparing the simulations with the observed climatological circulation characteristics. Results obtained with the northern Adriatic model are also compared with the corresponding simulations obtained with the coarser resolution Adriatic model.

Key words. Oceanography: general (continental shelf processes; numerical modelling) – Oceanography: physical (general circulation)