US Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Ocean Modelling 32 (2010) 175–187; doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2010.01.007


This paper presents a five-year global simulation of HYCOM, the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model, that simultaneously resolves the eddying general circulation, barotropic tides, and baroclinic tides with 32 layers in the vertical direction and 1/12.5° (equatorial) horizontal grid spacing. A parameterized topographic wave drag is inserted into the model and tuned so that the surface tidal elevations are of comparable accuracy to those in optimally tuned forward tide models used in previous studies. The model captures 93% of the open-ocean sea-surface height variance of the eight largest tidal constituents, as recorded by a standard set of 102 pelagic tide gauges spread around the World Ocean. In order to minimize the impact of the wave drag on non-tidal motions, the model utilizes a running 25-h average to approximately separate tidal and non-tidal components of the near-bottom flow. In contrast to earlier high-resolution global baroclinic tide simulations, which utilized tidal forcing only, the simulation presented here has a horizontally non-uniform stratification, supported by the wind- and buoyancy forcing. The horizontally varying stratification affects the baroclinic tides in high latitudes to first order. The magnitude of the internal tide perturbations to sea surface elevation amplitude and phase in a large box surrounding Hawai’i is quite similar to that observed in satellite altimeter data, although the exact locations of peaks and troughs in the modeled perturbations differ from those in the observed perturbations.