This study examines high-frequency sea level variations forced by changes in surface atmospheric pressure and wind and their sensitivity to different forcing mechanisms, bottom topography resolution, and amount of friction in a barotropic ocean model. Optimal model performance, defined in terms of the explained variance in satellite altimeter and bottom pressure data, is found when using relatively strong friction, equivalent to a damping timescale of only a few days over the deep ocean, and topography with minimal smoothing. Spatial variations of the optimal friction parameter seem to reflect the roughness of bottom topography. The model demonstrates skill in simulating the wind-driven response as well as the nonequilibrium response to atmospheric pressure variations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science
- Atmospheric Science
- Astronomy and Astrophysics