A baroclinic quasigeostrophic open ocean model

Robert N. Miller, Allan R. Robinson, Dale B. Haidvogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A baroclinic quasigeostrophic open ocean model is presented, calibrated by a series of test problems, and demonstrated to be feasible and efficient for application to realistic mid-oceanic mesoscale eddy flow regimes. Two methods of treating the depth dependence of the flow, a finite difference method and a collocation method, are tested and intercompared. Sample Rossby wave calculations with and without advection are performed with constant stratification and two levels of nonlinearity, one weaker than and one typical of real ocean flows. Using exact analytical solutions for comparison, the accuracy and efficiency of the model is tabulated as a function of the computational parameters and stability limits set; typically, errors were controlled between 1% and 10% RMS after two wave periods. Further Rossby wave tests with realistic stratification and wave parameters chosen to mimic real ocean conditions were performed to determine computational parameters for use with real and simulated data. Finally, a prototype calculation with quasiturbulent simulated data was performed successfully, which demonstrates the practicality of the model for scientific use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-70
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1983
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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