Simulating hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic oceanic flows

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3 Scopus citations


The thin aspect ratio of oceanic basins is simultaneously a complication to contend with when developing ocean models and an opportunity to simplify the equations of motion. Here we discuss these two aspects of this geometric feature in the context of hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic ocean models. A simple analysis shows that the horizontal viscous operator in the hydrostatic primitive equations plays a central role in the specification of boundary conditions on the lateral vertical surfaces bounding the domain. The asymptotic analysis shows that for very thin aspect ratios the leading-order flow cannot be closed unless additional terms in the equations are considered, namely either the horizontal viscous forces or the non-hydrostatic pressure forces. In either case, narrow boundary layers must be resolved in order to close the circulation properly. The computational cost increases substantially when non-hydrostatic effects are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1146
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Hydrostatic Navier-Stokes
  • Permissible boundary conditions
  • Spectral element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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