Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste

Although small in size, the Gulf of Trieste (GoT), a marginal coastal basin in the northern Adriatic Sea, is characterized by very complex dynamics and strong variability of its oceanographic conditions. In April–May 2012, a persistent, large-scale anticyclonic eddy was observed in the GoT. This eve...

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Main Authors: Stefano Querin, Simone Cosoli, Riccardo Gerin, Célia Laurent, Vlado Malačič, Neva Pristov, Pierre-Marie Poulain
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: MDPI AG 2021-04-01
Series:Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Subjects:
Online Access:https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1312/9/5/469
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spelling doaj-289ab3ac6b91482199737cae2656780a2021-04-27T23:02:24ZengMDPI AGJournal of Marine Science and Engineering2077-13122021-04-01946946910.3390/jmse9050469Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of TriesteStefano Querin0Simone Cosoli1Riccardo Gerin2Célia Laurent3Vlado Malačič4Neva Pristov5Pierre-Marie Poulain6National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics—OGS, 34010 Trieste, ItalyOcean Graduate School and the UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, AustraliaNational Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics—OGS, 34010 Trieste, ItalyNational Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics—OGS, 34010 Trieste, ItalyNational Institute of Biology—Marine Biology Station, 6330 Piran, SloveniaSlovenian Environment Agency, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, 1000 Ljubljana, SloveniaNational Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics—OGS, 34010 Trieste, ItalyAlthough small in size, the Gulf of Trieste (GoT), a marginal coastal basin in the northern Adriatic Sea, is characterized by very complex dynamics and strong variability of its oceanographic conditions. In April–May 2012, a persistent, large-scale anticyclonic eddy was observed in the GoT. This event was captured by both High Frequency Radar (HFR) and Lagrangian drifter observations collected within the European MED TOSCA (Tracking Oil Spill and Coastal Awareness) project. The complexity of the system and the variety of forcing factors constitute major challenges from a numerical modeling perspective when it comes to simulating the observed features. In this study, we implemented a high-resolution hydrodynamic model in an attempt to reproduce and analyze the observed basin-wide eddy structure and determine its drivers. We adopted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology General Circulation Model (MITgcm), tailored for the GoT, nested into a large-scale simulation of the Adriatic Sea and driven by a tidal model, measured river freshwater discharge data and surface atmospheric forcing. Numerical results were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated against HFR surface current maps, Lagrangian drifter trajectories and thermohaline data, showing good skills in reproducing the general circulation, but failing in accurately tracking the drifters. Model sensitivity to different forcing factors (wind, river and tides) was also assessed.https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1312/9/5/469Adriatic Seasurface circulationHF coastal radarsLagrangian drifterswind-driven currentsocean circulation models
collection DOAJ
language English
format Article
sources DOAJ
author Stefano Querin
Simone Cosoli
Riccardo Gerin
Célia Laurent
Vlado Malačič
Neva Pristov
Pierre-Marie Poulain
spellingShingle Stefano Querin
Simone Cosoli
Riccardo Gerin
Célia Laurent
Vlado Malačič
Neva Pristov
Pierre-Marie Poulain
Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste
Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Adriatic Sea
surface circulation
HF coastal radars
Lagrangian drifters
wind-driven currents
ocean circulation models
author_facet Stefano Querin
Simone Cosoli
Riccardo Gerin
Célia Laurent
Vlado Malačič
Neva Pristov
Pierre-Marie Poulain
author_sort Stefano Querin
title Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste
title_short Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste
title_full Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste
title_fullStr Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste
title_full_unstemmed Multi-Platform, High-Resolution Study of a Complex Coastal System: The TOSCA Experiment in the Gulf of Trieste
title_sort multi-platform, high-resolution study of a complex coastal system: the tosca experiment in the gulf of trieste
publisher MDPI AG
series Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
issn 2077-1312
publishDate 2021-04-01
description Although small in size, the Gulf of Trieste (GoT), a marginal coastal basin in the northern Adriatic Sea, is characterized by very complex dynamics and strong variability of its oceanographic conditions. In April–May 2012, a persistent, large-scale anticyclonic eddy was observed in the GoT. This event was captured by both High Frequency Radar (HFR) and Lagrangian drifter observations collected within the European MED TOSCA (Tracking Oil Spill and Coastal Awareness) project. The complexity of the system and the variety of forcing factors constitute major challenges from a numerical modeling perspective when it comes to simulating the observed features. In this study, we implemented a high-resolution hydrodynamic model in an attempt to reproduce and analyze the observed basin-wide eddy structure and determine its drivers. We adopted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology General Circulation Model (MITgcm), tailored for the GoT, nested into a large-scale simulation of the Adriatic Sea and driven by a tidal model, measured river freshwater discharge data and surface atmospheric forcing. Numerical results were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated against HFR surface current maps, Lagrangian drifter trajectories and thermohaline data, showing good skills in reproducing the general circulation, but failing in accurately tracking the drifters. Model sensitivity to different forcing factors (wind, river and tides) was also assessed.
topic Adriatic Sea
surface circulation
HF coastal radars
Lagrangian drifters
wind-driven currents
ocean circulation models
url https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1312/9/5/469
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