Wave–current interactions in a wind-jet region
Wave–current interactions (WCIs) are investigated. The study area is located at the northern margin of the Ebro shelf (northwestern Mediterranean Sea), where episodes of strong cross-shelf wind (wind jets) occur. The aim of this study is to validate the implemented coupled system and investigate the impact of WCIs on the hydrodynamics of a wind-jet region. The Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system, which uses the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) and Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) models, is used in a high-resolution domain (350 m). Results from uncoupled numerical models are compared with a two-way coupling simulation. The results do not show substantial differences in the water current field between the coupled and the uncoupled runs. The main effect observed when the models are coupled is in the water column stratification, due to the turbulent kinetic energy injection and the enhanced surface stress, leading to a larger mixed-layer depth. Regarding the effects on the wave fields, the comparison between the coupled and the uncoupled runs shows that, when the models are coupled, the agreement of the modeled wave period significantly improves and the wave energy (and thus the significant wave height) decreases when the current flows in the same direction as the waves propagate.