A study of air-sea interaction processes on water mass formation and upwelling in the Mediterranean sea

Graffino, Giorgio (2015) A study of air-sea interaction processes on water mass formation and upwelling in the Mediterranean sea. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Fisica del sistema terra [LM-DM270]
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Air-sea interactions are a key process in the forcing of the ocean circulation and the climate. Water Mass Formation is a phenomenon related to extreme air-sea exchanges and heavy heat losses by the water column, being capable to transfer water properties from the surface to great depth and constituting a fundamental component of the thermohaline circulation of the ocean. Wind-driven Coastal Upwelling, on the other hand, is capable to induce intense heat gain in the water column, making this phenomenon important for climate change; further, it can have a noticeable influence on many biological pelagic ecosystems mechanisms. To study some of the fundamental characteristics of Water Mass Formation and Coastal Upwelling phenomena in the Mediterranean Sea, physical reanalysis obtained from the Mediterranean Forecating System model have been used for the period ranging from 1987 to 2012. The first chapter of this dissertation gives the basic description of the Mediterranean Sea circulation, the MFS model implementation, and the air-sea interaction physics. In the second chapter, the problem of Water Mass Formation in the Mediterranean Sea is approached, also performing ad-hoc numerical simulations to study heat balance components. The third chapter considers the study of Mediterranean Coastal Upwelling in some particular areas (Sicily, Gulf of Lion, Aegean Sea) of the Mediterranean Basin, together with the introduction of a new Upwelling Index to characterize and predict upwelling features using only surface estimates of air-sea fluxes. Our conclusions are that latent heat flux is the driving air-sea heat balance component in the Water Mass Formation phenomenon, while sensible heat exchanges are fundamental in Coastal Upwelling process. It is shown that our upwelling index is capable to reproduce the vertical velocity patterns in Coastal Upwelling areas. Nondimensional Marshall numbers evaluations for the open-ocean convection process in the Gulf of Lion show that it is a fully turbulent, three-dimensional phenomenon.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Graffino, Giorgio
Relatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Ocean Upwelling Convection Reanalysis Simulations
Data di discussione della Tesi
27 Marzo 2015

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