The Whole Antarctic Ocean Model (WAOM v1.0): Development and evaluation

The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), including an ice shelf component, has been applied on a circum-Antarctic domain to derive estimates of ice shelf basal melting. Significant improvements made compared to previous models of this scale are the inclusion of tides and a horizontal spatial resolution of 2 km, which is sufficient to resolve on-shelf heat transport by bathymetric troughs and eddy-scale circulation. We run the model with ocean–atmosphere–sea ice conditions from the year 2007 to represent nominal present-day climate. We force the ocean surface with buoyancy fluxes derived from sea ice concentration observations and wind stress from ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis. Boundary conditions are derived from the ECCO2 ocean state estimate; tides are incorporated as sea surface height and barotropic currents at the open boundary. We evaluate model results using satellite-derived estimates of ice shelf melting and established compilations of ocean hydrography. The Whole Antarctic Ocean Model (WAOM v1.0) qualitatively captures the broad scale difference between warm and cold regimes as well as many of the known characteristics of regional ice–ocean interaction. We identify a cold bias for some warm-water ice shelves and a lack of high-salinity shelf water (HSSW) formation. We conclude that further calibration and development of our approach are justified. At its current state, the model is ideal for addressing specific, process-oriented questions, e.g. related to tide-driven ice shelf melting at large scales.


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Authors: Richter, Ole, Gwyther, David E., Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin K., Naughten, Kaitlin A. ORCIDORCID record for Kaitlin A. Naughten

On this site: Kaitlin Naughten
26 January, 2022
Geoscientific Model Development / 15
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