A Multi-Scale Model of the Turkish Straits System

Document Type


Publication Date



Marine Science


Ocean Science and Engineering


Two narrow, shallow straits, the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, form a physical connection between the Marmara Sea and its adjacent water bodies, the Aegean Sea to the southwest and the Black Sea to the northeast. This collection of seas and straits is known as the Turkish Straits System (TSS). Saline, dense water from the Aegean flows in a deep, lower layer through the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea while fresher, lighter Black Sea water flows in a surface layer to the Aegean Sea. Though the TSS dynamics are the result of interconnections between the interconnected straits and ocean basins, earlier modeling efforts have focused on dynamical studies of individual straits or seas. Often the geometric complexity, broad range of spatial scales present, and computational requirements to represent such disparities have prevented the study of the TSS as a whole. For this study, we utilize state-of-the-art modeling practices to capture the range of spatial scales, geometric complexity, and interconnected dynamics of the TSS. A multi-scale coastal ocean model representing the entire TSS is one-way coupled to a 1 km basin-scale ocean model of the same region. The modeled three-dimensional circulation and density structure of the TSS is examined through a comparison to observations of currents and density taken during the TSS08 sea trial.

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