Baroclinic tides simulation in the Red Sea: comparison to observations and basic characteristics

Daquan Guo, Aditya R. Kartadikaria, Peng Zhan, Jieshuo Xie, Mingjie Li, Ibrahim Hoteit

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15 Scopus citations


The baroclinic tides in the Red Sea are simulated using a three-dimensional, nonhydrostatic, high-resolution Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model. Various observations have been used to validate the simulation results. A good match between the model results and observations from five tidal gauges has been obtained. Tidal amplitude and phase data from 21 tidal stations present high correlation coefficients and low deviations with the model results. Comparisons between model and Oregon State University Tidal Inversion Software data suggest consistent results, with only small discrepancies at the locations of the amphidromic points. Tidal currents from four mooring observations are in good agreement with the simulation results, with discrepancies appearing in shallow areas and those with complex bottom topography. Based on the simulation results, the basic characteristics of baroclinic tides in the Red Sea are analyzed. The properties of barotropic tides, and distribution of the forcing function parameter, indicate that the baroclinic tides are generated mainly in four areas: the Bab-el-Mandeb (BAM) Strait, the southern Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, and the Strait of Tiran. This is confirmed by the spatial distributions of baroclinic tidal kinetic energy and energy flux. The properties of the conversion rate from barotropic tides to baroclinic tides, and the divergence of baroclinic energy flux, further reveal quantitatively that the southern Red Sea features the most of the generated baroclinic energy. The majority of the baroclinic energy disappears within the four areas, either dissipating due to friction and bottom drag or converting back to barotropic energy.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9389-9404
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 26 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The author would like to thank James H Churchill, Larry Pratt, and Jim Thomas for the discussions and help. The topography data are derived from General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO: The initial salinity and temperature is extracted from World Ocean Atlas 2009 (WOA09: The barotropic tidal boundary currents and the spatial distribution of elevation amplitudes and phases are derived from TPXO 7.2 inverse model ( The MITgcm model output data files, sea level data from gauges, and mooring data can be found at Figshare ( The research reported in this manuscript was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. This research made use of the resources from the Supercomputing Laboratory and/or computer clusters at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.


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