Towards a broader understanding of the effects of tidal forcing on the global ocean circulation

Borile, Federica (2022) Towards a broader understanding of the effects of tidal forcing on the global ocean circulation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Geofisica, 32 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10329.
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The study of tides and their interactions with the complex dynamics of the global ocean represents a crucial challenge in ocean modelling. This thesis aims to deepen this study from a dynamical point of view, analysing what are the tidal effects on the general circulation of the ocean. We perform different experiments of a mesoscale-permitting global ocean model forced by both atmospheric fields and astronomical tidal potential, and we implement two parametrizations to include in the model tidal phenomena that are currently unresolved, with particular emphasis to the topographic wave drag for locally dissipating internal waves. An additional experiment using a mesoscale-resolving configuration is used to compare the simulated tides at different resolutions with observed data. We find that the accuracy of modelled tides strongly depends on the region and harmonic component of interest, even though the increased resolution allows to improve the modelled topography and resolve more intense internal waves. We then focus on the impact of tides in the Atlantic Ocean and find that tides weaken the overturning circulation during the analysed period from 1981 to 2007, even though the interannual differences strongly change in both amplitude and phase. The zonally integrated momentum balance shows that tide changes the water stratification at the zonal boundaries, modifying the pressure and therefore the geostrophic balance over the entire basin. Finally, we describe the overturning circulation in the Mediterranean Sea computing the meridional and zonal streamfunctions both in the Eulerian and residual frameworks. The circulation is characterised by different cells, and their forcing processes are described with particular emphasis to the role of mesoscale and a transient climatic event. We complete the description of the overturning circulation giving evidence for the first time to the connection between meridional and zonal cells.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Borile, Federica
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
ocean tides, topographic wave drag, Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, Mediterranean overturning circulation
Data di discussione
1 Luglio 2022

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