Hindrance effect of tides on water exchanges between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden

Daquan Guo, Fengchao Yao, Peng Zhan, Georgios Krokos, Ibrahim Hoteit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a semienclosed marginal sea, the Red Sea connects with the open ocean through a narrow strait at its southern end, known as the Bab-al-Mandeb (BAM) strait. The water exchange between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the BAM strait is crucial for the water mass transformations and thermohaline circulation in the Red Sea as well as for nutrient supply to the open ocean. In this study, a three-dimensional high-resolution nonhydrostatic MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) was used to investigate the tidal influence on the water exchange in the BAM strait through simulations with and without tidal forcing. We found that the tidal effects on the water exchange in winter were insignificant; however, the summer intrusion of the Gulf of Aden Intermediate Water (GAIW) was strongly affected. When the simulation includes tidal forcing, the along-axis northern extension of the GAIW intrusion is reduced by u to 100 km and the monthly mean volume transport is decreased by 20% on average. Two actors that possibly contribute to the hindrance effects of tides in summer are (i) the tidal residual currents that propagate in a direction opposite to the pathway of the GAIW intrusion currents nd (ii) the enhanced vertical mixing at the pycnocline and near the benthic topography of the BAM strait, which triggers more instabilities along the pathway of the intrusion.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
StatePublished - Aug 17 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1973-01-01
Acknowledgements: The reported research was supported by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) under the Competitive Research Grants (CRG) program (Grants # FCC/1/1973-01-01). This research made use of the computational resources of the KAUST Supercomputing Laboratory (SHAHEEN).


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