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A baroclinic coastal trapped wave event in the Gulf of Naples (Tyrrhenian Sea)

TitleA baroclinic coastal trapped wave event in the Gulf of Naples (Tyrrhenian Sea)
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2018
Authorsde Ruggiero, P., Napolitano Ernesto, Iacono Roberto, Pierini S., and Spezie G.
JournalOcean Dynamics
KeywordsCoastal circulation models, Coastal engineering, Coastal zones, Coastal-trapped wave, Gravity waves, Gulf of Naples, Kelvin waves, Mediterranean Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Water waves

In this study, a baroclinic coastal trapped wave, with period 4.5 days and cross-shore scale 3 km, is identified in the outputs of a very-high-resolution ocean circulation model of the Campania coastal system (central Tyrrhenian Sea; including the Gulfs of Salerno, Naples, and Gaeta). The outputs are from a simulation spanning June 2003, a month in which the surface winds were always weak, except for a strong northeasterly wind event that lasted 1 day (20 June). This event is found to generate a strong upwelling along the Campania coasts, whose relaxation—virtually free, because of the weakness of the winds—produces coastal current fluctuations that propagate to the north, spanning the three gulfs. The dynamics (analyzed with a focus on the Gulf of Naples) is found to share important features with baroclinic Kelvin waves in a two-layer model, such as the sharp cross-shore decrease of the perturbation amplitude and the vertical reversal of the long-shore current velocities. The simulated phase speed, cross-shore extension, and wavelength of the perturbation are also close to those obtained using a two-layer approximation of the dynamics. Moreover, the propagation described by the models is shown to be compatible with current measurements that were made in June 2003 at the southern entrance of the Gulf of Naples. Experimental implications related to the specific oceanographic problem are finally discussed, and an experimental strategy—inspired by our modeling approach—aimed at identifying the phenomenon is proposed. © 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


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Citation KeydeRuggiero2018