Hurricane Camille Shelf Wave Simulation Using a Numerical Ocean Circulation Model

by Le Ngoc Ly, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Lakshmi Kantha, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


The hurricane generated shelf waves for Hurricane Camille (1969) are studied using a three-dimensional, thermodynamical, primitive equation, ocean circulation model developed at Princeton University. The model has free surface dynamics and a second order turbulence closure scheme for the mixed layer. The model has a sigma coordinate with 18 levels in the vertical and 0.2 by 0.2 degree horizontal resolution for the entire Gulf of Mexico. A realistic coastline and bottom topography are used in the study. The model is forced by the passage of the hurricane across the Gulf. Both the sea level data and numerical simulations of the shelf currents show a clear signature of continental shelf waves generated by Hurricane Camille. The study shows that shelf wave phase speeds determined from sea level data, and from the model currents have almost the same values. The shelf waves propagated to the west with a phase speed of 8 - 13 m s-1. The study also shows that shelf waves mainly appear in the well mixed surface layer where shear is small.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Hurricanes and typhoons | Ocean engineering | Water circulation | Simulation models | Wave generation | Water waves | Three-dimensional models | Gulf of Mexico

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