1Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici – Ocean Predictions and
Applications, via Augusto Imperatore 16, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via Donato Creti 12,
40100 Bologna, Italy
3Universitá degli Studi di Bologna, viale Berti-Pichat, 40126 Bologna, Italy
4Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale,
del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica, Politecnico di Bari, Via E. Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
anow at: NATO Science and Technology Organisation –
Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation,
Viale San Bartolomeo 400, 19126 La Spezia, Italy
Received: 13 May 2016 – Discussion started: 25 May 2016
Abstract. SANIFS (Southern Adriatic Northern Ionian coastal Forecasting System) is a coastal-ocean operational system based on the unstructured grid finite-element three-dimensional hydrodynamic SHYFEM model, providing short-term forecasts. The operational chain is based on a downscaling approach starting from the large-scale system for the entire Mediterranean Basin (MFS, Mediterranean Forecasting System), which provides initial and boundary condition fields to the nested system.
Accepted: 06 Dec 2016 – Published: 11 Jan 2017
The model is configured to provide hydrodynamics and active tracer forecasts both in open ocean and coastal waters of southeastern Italy using a variable horizontal resolution from the open sea (3–4 km) to coastal areas (50–500 m).
Given that the coastal fields are driven by a combination of both local (also known as coastal) and deep-ocean forcings propagating along the shelf, the performance of SANIFS was verified both in forecast and simulation mode, first (i) on the large and shelf-coastal scales by comparing with a large-scale survey CTD (conductivity–temperature–depth) in the Gulf of Taranto and then (ii) on the coastal-harbour scale (Mar Grande of Taranto) by comparison with CTD, ADCP (acoustic doppler current profiler) and tide gauge data.
Sensitivity tests were performed on initialization conditions (mainly focused on spin-up procedures) and on surface boundary conditions by assessing the reliability of two alternative datasets at different horizontal resolution (12.5 and 6.5 km).
The SANIFS forecasts at a lead time of 1 day were compared with the MFS forecasts, highlighting that SANIFS is able to retain the large-scale dynamics of MFS. The large-scale dynamics of MFS are correctly propagated to the shelf-coastal scale, improving the forecast accuracy (+17 % for temperature and +6 % for salinity compared to MFS). Moreover, the added value of SANIFS was assessed on the coastal-harbour scale, which is not covered by the coarse resolution of MFS, where the fields forecasted by SANIFS reproduced the observations well (temperature RMSE equal to 0.11 °C).
Furthermore, SANIFS simulations were compared with hourly time series of temperature, sea level and velocity measured on the coastal-harbour scale, showing a good agreement. Simulations in the Gulf of Taranto described a circulation mainly characterized by an anticyclonic gyre with the presence of cyclonic vortexes in shelf-coastal areas. A surface water inflow from the open sea to Mar Grande characterizes the coastal-harbour scale.
Federico, I., Pinardi, N., Coppini, G., Oddo, P., Lecci, R., and Mossa, M.: Coastal ocean forecasting with an unstructured grid model in the southern Adriatic and northern Ionian seas, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 45-59, doi:10.5194/nhess-17-45-2017, 2017.