01 Jun 2023
 | 01 Jun 2023

Studying multi-scale ocean dynamics and their contribution to water, heat and salt budgets in the South China Sea: evaluation of a high-resolution configuration of an online closed-budget hydrodynamical ocean model (SYMPHONIE version 249)

Ngoc Bich Trinh, Marine Herrmann, Caroline Ulses, Patrick Marsaleix, Thomas Duhaut, Thai To Duy, Claude Estournel, and R. Kipp Shearman

Abstract. The South China Sea Throughflow (SCSTF) connects the South China Sea (SCS) with neighboring seas and oceans, transferring surface water of the global thermohaline circulation between the Pacific and Indian oceans. A high resolution (4 km, 50 vertical levels) configuration of the SYMPHONIE ocean model is implemented over this region, and a simulation is performed over a 10 year period (2009–2018). An online computation of each term of the water, heat and salt budgets over the SCS (surface, lateral, and river fluxes and internal variations) is moreover developed. Comparisons with in-situ and satellite data show that the model reproduces correctly the spatial and temporal (from seasonal to interannual) variability of the surface water characteristics and circulation over the SCS, and the vertical distribution of water masses. The added value of an online computation compared to an offline one of water, heat and salt budget is quantitatively demonstrated. Important discards are obtained when computing heat and salt lateral fluxes offline (relative bias of respectively 31 % and 52 % and NRMSE of 32 % and 8 %, for the net heat and salt annual fluxes through the SCS). Considerable differences are also obtained for lateral incoming and outgoing fluxes, with relative biases of 41 %, 38 % and 41 % and NRMSE of 352 %, 226 % and 338 % for annual lateral inflows and outflows of water, heat and salt, respectively.

Ngoc Bich Trinh et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-547', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jun 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-547', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Jul 2023

Ngoc Bich Trinh et al.

Ngoc Bich Trinh et al.


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Short summary
Seawater flows from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans through different straits of the South China Sea, forming the South China Sea Throughflow. We present the high-resolution model built for the study of water, heat and salt fluxes involved in this flow. The model is evaluated by comparing with observations. We moreover show that important discards are observed while calculating offline the net heat and salt flux and the inflow and outflow of water, heat and salt.