• Open Access

An integrated approach to the heat and water mass dynamics of a large bay: High-resolution simulations of Funka Bay, Japan



[1] Heat and water mass transports tagged by water type in a bay were investigated using daily outputs from a high-resolution land-sea coupled model. The modeled circulation and water property distribution were similar to those reported by observations. In this paper, the heat angle is introduced to accurately define the roles of the lateral heat flux (LF) into the bay and the net surface heat flux on temperature changes in the bay water. As a result, ocean phenomena in the bay can be categorized by using the heat angle in an intensive LF regime on short-period timescales and a gradual LF regime on intraseasonal timescales. Our close examination revealed that the velocity fields can be classified into three flow patterns: a twin vortex accompanied by positive LF, a clockwise flow with negative LF, and an anticlockwise flow with both LFs. These patterns occur in both intensive and gradual LF regimes. Intensive wind-driven LF forced by atmospheric disturbances was often observed from summer to autumn in 2008, accompanying the intrusion of southern subtropical Tsugaru warm water that was colder than the deep bay water (LF < 0) and subarctic Oyashio water that was warmer than the surface bay water (LF > 0), but both were hardly found in 2009. This thermal contrast affects the interannual difference in the stratification inherent in the bay. Our integrated analysis method is useful for prompt and robust understanding of the thermal and dynamic states in a bay based on ocean simulation data.