Model studies of the wind-driven transient circulation in the Middle Atlantic Bight. Part 1: adiabatic boundary conditions.

R. C. Beardsley, D. B. Haidvogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A numerical model of the wind-driven transient ocean circulation in the Middle Atlantic Bight is described. The model incorporates realistic topography and covers the continental shelf between the coast and the 200 m isobath from Cape Hatteras to the southern tip of Nova Scotia. The traditional shallow-water dynamics are used. The equations are integrated in time using a simple modification of Platzman's (1972) finite-difference scheme, with a 12.7 km grid spacing. At the coast, normal flow is required to vanish; at non-coastal boundaries, the equivalent surface elevation is held fixed. Several classes of initial value experiments are used to study the free and forced modes of this model, and the damped flow driven by a spatially uniform and stationary wind stress and by an idealized traveling synoptic-scale wind-stress pattern. The numerical experiments indicate that several time scales are important in the regional adjustment process. The transient response within the Middle Atlantic Bight proper from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras to an alongshore wind stress is clearly dominated by friction and rotation. A comparison of model and observational data on current and sea level variability indicates that the model response is more realistic within the Middle Atlantic Bight section of the model domain. Differences within the Gulf of Maine are due primarily to the specific boundary condition imposed on the upcoast (Scotian shelf) boundary. (from authors' abstract)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-375
Number of pages21
Issue number3 , Mar. 1981
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography


Dive into the research topics of 'Model studies of the wind-driven transient circulation in the Middle Atlantic Bight. Part 1: adiabatic boundary conditions.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this