Tracking water masses using passive-tracer transport in NEMO v3.4 with NEMOTAM: application to North Atlantic DeepWater and North Atlantic Subtropical ModeWater

Type Article
Date 2020-04
Language English
Author(s) Stephenson Dafydd1, Muller Simon1, 2, Sevellec Florian1, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton, UK
2 : National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, UK
3 : Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, Univ.-Brest CNRS IRD Ifremer, Brest, France
Source Geoscientific Model Development (1991-959X) (Copernicus GmbH), 2020-04 , Vol. 13 , N. 4 , P. 2031-2050
DOI 10.5194/gmd-13-2031-2020
WOS© Times Cited 1
Note Special issue Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean - NEMO Editor(s): GMD topical editors | Coordinator: P. Oddo
Abstract

Water mass ventilation provides an important link between the atmosphere and the global ocean circulation. In this study, we present a newly developed, probabilistic tool for offline water mass tracking. In particular, NEMOTAM, the tangent-linear and adjoint counterpart to the NEMO ocean general circulation model, is modified to allow passive-tracer transport. By terminating dynamic feedbacks in NEMOTAM, tagged water can be tracked forward and backwards in time as a passive dye, producing a probability distribution of pathways and origins, respectively. Upon contact with the surface, the tracer is removed from the system, and a record of ventilation is produced.

Two test cases are detailed, examining the creation and fate of North Atlantic Subtropical Mode Water (NASMW) and North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) in a 2°ree; configuration of NEMO run with repeated annual forcing for up to 400 years. NASMW is shown to have an expected age of 4.5 years, and is predominantly eradicated by internal processes. A bed of more persistent NASMW is detected below the mixed layer with an expected age of 8.7 years It is shown that while model NADW has two distinct outcrops (in the Arctic and North Atlantic), its formation primarily takes place in the subpolar Labrador and Irminger seas. Its expected age is 112 years.

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Stephenson Dafydd, Muller Simon, Sevellec Florian (2020). Tracking water masses using passive-tracer transport in NEMO v3.4 with NEMOTAM: application to North Atlantic DeepWater and North Atlantic Subtropical ModeWater. Geoscientific Model Development, 13(4), 2031-2050. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-13-2031-2020 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00588/69980/