Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date




We present a new 3D unstructured-grid global ocean model to study both tidal and non-tidal processes, with a focus on the total water elevation. Unlike existing global ocean models, the new model resolves estuaries and rivers down to ~8m without the need for grid nesting. The model is validated with both satellite and in-situ observations for elevation, temperature and salinity. Tidal elevation solutions have a mean complex RMSE of 4.2 cm for M2 and 5.4 cm for all 5 major constituents in the deep ocean (the RMSEs for the other 4 constituents (S2, N2, K1, O1) are respectively: 2.05cm, 0.93cm, 2.08cm, 1.34cm). The non-tidal residual assessed by a tide gauge dataset (GESLA) has a mean RMSE of 7 cm. For the first time ever, we demonstrate the potential for seamless simulation, on a single mesh, from the global ocean into several estuaries along the US west coast. The model is able to accurately capture the total elevation, even at some upstream stations. The model can therefore potentially serve as the backbone in a global tide-surge and compound flooding forecasting framework.



Included in

Oceanography Commons