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Ocean-atmosphere interaction : improvement of wind stress for coastal physical modelling

Abstract : Storm surges may be underestimated in hydrodynamic models, as well as large wave heights in wave models. This could come from an underestimation of strong winds in atmospheric models and/or an inappropriate wind stress formulation. The objectives of the present work are (1) to estimate how strong are the biases for high winds in atmospheric models (2) to develop a new drag parameterization that could reduce this bias (3) to investigate the impact of the waves on the wind stress. The method consists of studying the response of the atmosphere and the ocean to the wind stress.In a first part, we use the coupled wave-atmosphere model from ECMWF. We show that strong winds may be underestimated, as much as -7 m/s at 30 m/s.Significant differences also exist between observations, with buoys and ASCAT-KNMI generally showing lower wind speeds than the platforms and other remote-sensing data used in this study(AMSR2, ASCAT-RSS, WindSat, SMOS and JASON-2).The newly empirically adjusted Charnock parameterization leads to higher winds compared to the default ECMWF parameterization. In a second part, we use the global ocean model TUGO fromLEGOS forced with ECMWF coupled wave-atmopshere model. We show that a wave-dependent rather than wind-dependent stress formulation is more appropriate, when the sea state is young and the sea rougher. It yields to simulated surges closer to observations (i.e. tide gauges and JASON-2 altimeter tracks). The wave impact on the surges is significant, and may reach 20 cm.
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Lucia Pineau-Guillou. Ocean-atmosphere interaction : improvement of wind stress for coastal physical modelling. Earth Sciences. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018BRES0064⟩. ⟨tel-02076492⟩

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