Wind Sensitivity Analysis In a COAWST Model of the Mississippi Sound

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Marine Science


Ocean Science and Engineering


The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Ocean Modeling Group developed a high spatial resolution (400-m) Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system with the Regional Ocean Modeling System (msbROMS) at its core during the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)-funded the Consortium for Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE) project.

High spatial and temporal resolution wind forcing is necessary to resolve highly variable atmospheric circulation over complicated coastal features like those found in the Mississippi Sound. In this study, sensitivity of the ocean model predictions to atmospheric forcing with different spatial and temporal resolutions is examined to evaluate the impact on inlet exchange and estuarine dynamics. The hourly 1-km resolution output of the CONCORDE Meteorological Analysis (CMA) product developed at the USM, hourly 3-km resolution National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) product with radar assimilation, and 3-hourly 32-km resolution North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) product were used as atmospheric forcing to run the COAWST model for a period in the summer of 2016.

We show that COAWST model results of coastal ocean variability significantly improve when forced with high temporal and spatial resolution CMA atmospheric product that captures diurnal sea breeze. This inclusion of sea breeze impacts on near shore circulation is critical for accurately representing estuarine exchanges of hydrographic and biogeochemical properties, hypoxia onset and intensity, and pathways of submarine groundwater discharge.

Publication Title

AMS101: 101st Annual Meeting