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Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans

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Abstract/ Summary

The Princeton Ocean Model is used to study the circulation features in the Pearl River Estuary and their responses to tide, river discharge, wind, and heat flux in the winter dry and summer wet seasons. The model has an orthogonal curvilinear grid in the horizontal plane with variable spacing from 0.5 km in the estuary to 1 km on the shelf and 15 sigma levels in the vertical direction. The initial conditions and the subtidal open boundary forcing are obtained from an associated larger-scale model of the northern South China Sea. Buoyancy forcing uses the climatological monthly heat fluxes and river discharges, and both the climatological monthly wind and the realistic wind are used in the sensitivity experiments. The tidal forcing is represented by sinusoidal functions with the observed amplitudes and phases. In this paper, the simulated tide is first examined. The simulated seasonal distributions of the salinity, as well as the temporal variations of the salinity and velocity over a tidal cycle are described and then compared with the in situ survey data from July 1999 and January 2000. The model successfully reproduces the main hydrodynamic processes, such as the stratification, mixing, frontal dynamics, summer upwelling, two-layer gravitational circulation, etc., and the distributions of hydrodynamic parameters in the Pearl River Estuary and coastal waters for both the winter and the summer season.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Wong LA, Chen J, Xue H, Dong LX, Su JL, Heinke G. A Model Study of the Circulation in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and Its Adjacent Coastal Waters: 1. Simulations and Comparison with Observations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 2003;108: 3156. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

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Copyright 2003 American Geophysical Union.




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