Original paper

Modelling tidal influence on sea breezes with models of different complexity

Fischereit, Jana; Schlünzen, K. Heinke; Gierisch, Andrea M.U.; Grawe, David; Petrik, Ronny

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 4 (2016), p. 343 - 355

32 references

published: Sep 6, 2016
published online: Apr 29, 2016
manuscript accepted: Sep 17, 2015
manuscript revision received: Sep 8, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Jun 30, 2015
manuscript received: Apr 30, 2015

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2016/0703

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Tides influence both the formation and development of sea breezes. The aim of this study is to investigate the tidal influence to decide which model complexity is needed to reproduce the main influence of tides in a numerical model of coastal meteorology. Two processes are considered: (a) the influence of tides on sea breezes through the effect of tidal currents on the surface wind and (b) the thermal influence through the flooding and drying of mudflats in the intertidal area. The processes are considered separately by representing the ocean in the non-hydrostatic mesoscale atmosphere model METRAS with different complexity, ranging from a homogeneous stationary surface to a shallow-water model coupled to METRAS with a two-way exchange of momentum. The model system is applied in a case study to the German Bight, where large mudflats exist at low tide.The results show that the main influence of tides originates from a change in the mudflat heat budget through flooding and drying. The influence of tidal currents on the surface wind is small. Therefore, we conclude that no coupled atmosphere-ocean model is needed to reproduce the main influence of tides on sea breezes in a numerical model. Instead, we suggest to use an atmosphere model which simulates the change of surface cover in the intertidal area and includes a realistic spatial sea surface temperature distribution. For this it is essential to simulate the change in surface cover with the correct timing because the results show that the atmosphere reacts very sensitively to that change.


atmosphere-ocean interactionsea-breezetidemodel couplingnumerical modelmodel couplingcoastal meteorology