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Numerical Study on Circulation and Thermohaline Structures With Effects of Icing Event in the Caspian Sea

[+] Author Affiliations
Daisuke Kitazawa

The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Jing Yang

Bosch Coorporation, Tokyo, Japan

Paper No. OMAE2010-20667, pp. 221-228; 8 pages
  • ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering: Volume 3
  • Shanghai, China, June 6–11, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4911-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3873-0
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


A hydrostatic and ice coupled model was developed to analyze circulation and thermohaline structures in the Caspian Sea. The northern part of the Caspian Sea freezes in the winter. Waters start icing in November and ices spread during December and January. The northern part of the Caspian Sea is covered by ices in severe winters. Ice-covered area is at its maximum during January and February, and then ices begin melting in March and disappear in April. The occurrence of ices must have significant effects on circulation and thermohaline structures as well as ecosystem in the northern Caspian Sea. In the present study, formation of ices is modeled assuming that ices do not move but spread and shrink on water surface. Under the ices, it is assumed that the exchange of momentum flux is impeded and the fluxes of heat and brine salt are given at sea-ice boundary. The ice model was coupled with a hydrostatic model based on MEC (Marine Environmental Committee) Ocean Model developed by the Japan Society of Naval Architect and Ocean Engineers. Numerical simulation was carried out for 20 years to achieve stable seasonal changes in current velocity, water temperature, and salinity. The fluxes of momentum, heat, and salt were estimated by using measurement data at 11 meteorological stations around the Caspian Sea. Inflow of Volga River was taken into account as representative of all the rivers which inflow into the Caspian Sea. Effects of icing event on circulation and thermohaline structures were discussed using the results of numerical simulation in the last year. As a result, the accuracy of predicting water temperature in the northern Caspian Sea was improved by taking the effects of icing event into account. Differences in density in the horizontal direction create several gyres with the effects of Coriolis force. The differences were caused by differences in heat capacity between coastal and open waters, differences in water temperature due to climate, and inflow of rivers in the northern Caspian Sea. The water current field in the Caspian Sea is formed by adding wind-driven current to the dominant density-driven current, which is based on horizontal differences in water temperature and salinity, and Coriolis force.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Seas



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