Coastal Modeling

Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS)

James C. McWilliams

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA
July 7, 2016

The coastal zone is defined here as spanning from the offshore continental slope to the shoreline as determined by averaging over the incoming waves (Fig. 1). Its physical circulation phenomena include seasonal and interannual cycles, wind-driven currents, tides, mesoscale eddies (more offshore), submesoscale density fronts and filaments, topographic wakes, internal and inertial waves, surface waves and wave-driven littoral currents, and turbulent boundary layers near the surface and bottom. It is distinctive in many ways from the deeper sea, most conspicuously in its smaller, faster scales of evolution and the greater influence of the proximate bottom in shallow water. As such, it requires special modeling techniques.

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coastal_science_fig2_crop.pngFigure 2: Along- and cross-shore material relative diffusivities, ka(Lc) and kc(Lc) respectively (left panel), and their ratio (right panel) determined from particle-pair dispersion rates, averaged over ~104 pairs following nearshore releases at many sites along the shelf in the SCB. coastal_science_fig3_crop.pngFigure 3: Time-mean and RMS values of the depth-integrated concentration of a wastewater tracer C(x.y,t) in the San Pedro Bay (left) and Santa Monica Bay (right).