Global tide simulations with ICON-O: testing the model performance on highly irregular meshes


The global tide is simulated with the global ocean general circulation model ICON-O using a newly developed tidal module, which computes the full tidal potential. The simulated coastal M2 amplitudes, derived by a discrete Fourier transformation of the output sea level time series, are compared with the according values derived from satellite altimetry (TPXO-8 atlas). The experiments are repeated with four uniform and sixteen irregular triangular grids. The results show that the quality of the coastal tide simulation depends primarily on the coastal resolution and that the ocean interior can be resolved up to twenty times lower without causing considerable reductions in quality. The mesh transition zones between areas of different resolutions are formed by cell bisection and subsequent local spring optimisation tolerating a triangular cell’s maximum angle up to 84°. Numerical problems with these high-grade non-equiangular cells were not encountered. The results emphasise the numerical feasibility and potential efficiency of highly irregular computational meshes used by ICON-O.
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