An Isopycnal Box Model with predictive deep-ocean structure for biogeochemical cycling applications

Goodwin, Philip (2012) An Isopycnal Box Model with predictive deep-ocean structure for biogeochemical cycling applications. Ocean Modelling, 51. pp. 19-36. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2012.04.005

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Abstract

To simulate global ocean biogeochemical tracer budgets a model must accurately determine both the volume and surface origins of each water-mass. Water-mass volumes are dynamically linked to the ocean circulation in General Circulation Models, but at the cost of high computational load. In computationally efficient Box Models the water-mass volumes are simply prescribed and do not vary when the circulation transport rates or water mass densities are perturbed. A new computationally efficient Isopycnal Box Model is presented in which the sub-surface box volumes are internally calculated from the prescribed circulation using a diffusive conceptual model of the thermocline, in which upwelling of cold dense water is balanced by a downward diffusion of heat. The volumes of the sub-surface boxes are set so that the density stratification satisfies an assumed link between diapycnal diffusivity, κd, and buoyancy frequency, N: κd = c/(Nα), where c and α are user prescribed parameters. In contrast to conventional Box Models, the volumes of the sub-surface ocean boxes in the Isopycnal Box Model are dynamically linked to circulation, and automatically respond to circulation perturbations. This dynamical link allows an important facet of ocean biogeochemical cycling to be simulated in a highly computationally efficient model framework.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2012AREP; IA63;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Ocean Modelling
Volume: 51
Page Range: pp. 19-36
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2012.04.005
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2012 11:16
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:04
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2532

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