Spatiotemporal structure of Baltic free sea level oscillations in barotropic and baroclinic conditions from hydrodynamic modelling

Zakharchuk, Eugeny A.; Tikhonova, Natalia; Zakharova, Elena; Kouraev, Alexei V.

Free sea level oscillations in barotropic and baroclinic conditions were examined using numerical experiments based on a 3-D hydrodynamic model of the Baltic Sea. In a barotropic environment, the highest amplitudes of free sea level oscillations are observed in the northern Gulf of Bothnia, eastern Gulf of Finland, and south-western Baltic Sea. In these areas, the maximum variance appears within the frequency range corresponding to periods of 13–44 h. In a stratified environment, after the cessation of meteorological forcing, water masses relax to the equilibrium state in the form of mesoscale oscillations at the same frequencies as well as in the form of rapidly decaying low-frequency (seasonal) oscillations. The total amplitudes of free baroclinic perturbations are significantly larger than those of barotropic perturbations, reaching 15–17 cm. Contrary to barotropic, oscillations in baroclinic conditions are strongly pronounced in the deep-water areas of the Baltic Sea proper. Specific spatial patterns of amplitudes and phases of free barotropic and baroclinic sea level oscillations identified them as progressive–standing waves representing barotropic or baroclinic modes of gravity waves and topographic Rossby waves.

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Zakharchuk, Eugeny A. / Tikhonova, Natalia / Zakharova, Elena / et al: Spatiotemporal structure of Baltic free sea level oscillations in barotropic and baroclinic conditions from hydrodynamic modelling. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Eugeny A. Zakharchuk et al.

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