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Estimating the Mean Circulation and Water Exchange of the Gulf of Suez-Red Sea via a Validated One-Way Atmospheric-Hydrodynamic Coupled Model

  • Abstract

    The Gulf of Suez, Northern Islands protected area, and Hurghada zone are experiencing mega developments in all sectors including tourism, industry, and logistics. The need for moderately accurate near-shore hydrodynamic models is increasing to support the sustainable development of this oceanic area. This can be accomplished by following a nesting approach including the downscaling of global atmospheric and oceanic models into local models using higher resolution datasets. This work aims to present the development of a one-way coupling between atmospheric and hydrodynamic models for the Gulf of Suez (GOS) to understand the local oceanic characteristics and processes. The Regional Climate Model system (RegCM4) is used to simulate moderate resolution atmospheric features and its results are used to force a local dedicated application of Delft3D model. The results indicate that the predicted water level, water temperature, and evaporation accurately follow in situ measurements, remotely sensed data, and re-analysis data. The results suggest that the annual sea surface temperature is averaged at 23 °C, while the annual average of evaporation rates equals 8.02 mm/day. The study suggests that the water level displays a marked seasonal and spatial variation. Moreover, the water balance in the Gulf of Suez was controlled by the difference between inflows and outflows through the Straits of Gubal and by the net precipitation. In addition, the water balance indicated a net loss of approximately 3.9 × 10?³ m of water during 2013. Moreover, the exchange through the Straits of Gubal showed a two-way exchange with a net inflow of 0.0007 Sv, where the outflow dominated in the surface layer along the western coast and the inflow dominated in the lower layers along the middle of the Straits. To conclude, the one-way coupling modeling technique proved to be a reliable tool for studying local features of the GOS region.

     

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