A multilevel ocean mixed layer model resolving the diurnal cycle: Development and validation

Tiejun Ling, Min Xu, Xin Zhong Liang, Julian X.L. Wang, Yign Noh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The representation of transient air-sea interactions is critical to the prediction of the sea surface temperature diurnal cycle and daily variability. This study develops a multilevel upper ocean model to more realistically resolve these interactions. The model is based on the one-dimensional turbulence kinetic energy closure developed by Noh et al. [2011], and incorporates new numerical techniques and improved schemes for model physics. The primary improvements include: (1) a surface momentum flux penetration scheme to better depict velocity shear in the diurnal mixed layer; (2) a solar penetration scheme to improve the penetration of visible and near-infrared bands of solar radiation into the mixed layer ocean; (3) a scheme to resolve the cool-skin and warm-layer effects on sea skin temperature; (4) a vertical grid stretch scheme to achieve higher near-surface resolution with fewer vertical levels; (5) a trapezoidal time integration scheme for flexible time steps; (6) a relaxation term of the previous daily mean difference between observed and modeled sea surface temperature. According to the numerical experiments based on the TOGA-COARE IMET mooring buoy data and the validation by observations from the National Data Buoy Center, NOAA, the results indicate that the new upper ocean mixed layer model improves the simulation of the diurnal cycle of SST and sea skin temperature, especially in amplitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1692
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The observed data of this study are available from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (http:// www.whoi.edu/) and National Data Buoy Center (http://www.ndbc.noaa. gov). This work was jointly supported by the NOAA Education Partnership Program COM Howard 00073421000037534, National Science and Technology Infrastructure Program (the 12th Five-Year Plan) under grant 2012BAC19B08 in China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China grant 41376016, and Special Fund for Marine Research in the Public Interest 201205018-2. And we acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions for improving the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015. The Authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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