A shallow-water model, coupled with a three dimensional, hydrostatic ocean model, is used to study the wind induced circulation, and the Shatt-al-Arab river plume expansion, in the Persian Gulf. The models are used in an idealized configuration. The following results are obtained: 1) with northwesterly winds, a double gyre is formed: this gyre is cyclonic in the south and anticyclonic in the north. Southeastward currents flow along the Iranian and Arabian coast where the wind stress at the surface dominates the pressure gradient related to the free surface slope, and conversely in the deeper region of the Gulf;2) In the eastern part of the Gulf, the cyclonic gyre intensifies, as observed and reported in the literature; 3) For northwesterly winds, the plume from Shatt-al-Arab first heads towards the Iranian coast and then spreads southeastward along the Arabian coast; for northerly and northeasterly winds, the plume directly follows the Kuwaiti coast and then the Arabian coast. This sensitivity of the orientation can be related to the double gyre flow structure;4) A southeasterly wind confines the plume in the northern end of the Gulf as does a pure tidal flow.
Cite this paper
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