A Process Study of the Tidal Circulation in the Persian Gulf


A homogeneous shallow-water model with free surface is used to model the tidal circulation in the Persian Gulf. The numerical finite-difference model includes harmonic diffusion of horizontal momentum and quadratic bottom friction, it has a 9 km mesh size and it is forced by 7 tidal components at its southern boundary. High precision bathymetric data are used to obtain the bottom topography. The numerical model is run for more than a year. The results are the following: 1) The model accurately reproduces the tidal phase and amplitude observed at 42 tidal gauges in the region. This accuracy is attributed to the presence of the 7 components which are able to interact nonlinearly; 2) The amphidromic points are also well positioned by the model due to a proper choice of bathymetry. This was checked also with a simpler geometry of the domain; 3) The tidal currents can be strong in the Straits of Hormuz and in shallow areas; thus they will have an effect of the hydrology of the region. The residual currents are weak so that they will be negligible for the large-scale circulation on long periods; 4) Finally, the sea-surface elevation forecast by the model is in close agreement with in-situ measurements of pressure in the Straits, performed during the GOGP99 experiment.

Share and Cite:

S. Pous, X. Carton and P. Lazure, "A Process Study of the Tidal Circulation in the Persian Gulf," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 131-140. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2012.24016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] A. Defant, “Physical Oceanography,” Pergamon Press, Vol. 2, 1960.
[2] K. T. Bogdanov, “Propagation des Ondes de Marees et des Variations de Marees du Niveau du Golfe Persique,” Marees Terrestres, Vol. 101, 1988, pp. 7004-7009
[3] L. Von Trepka, “Investigations of the Tides in the Persian Gulf by Means of a Hydrodynamical Numerical Model,” Proceedings of the Symposium on Mathematical Hydro-dynamical Investigations of the Physical Processes in the Sea, Institut fur Meereskunde der Universitat Hamburg, Vol. 10, 1968, pp. 59-63.
[4] D. J. Evans-Roberts, “Tides in the Persian Gulf,” Consulting Engineer, Vol. 43, No. 6, 1979, pp. 46-48.
[5] R. W. Lardner, M. S. Belen and H. M. Cekirge, “Finite Difference Model for Tidal Flows in the Arabian Gulf,” Computers & Mathematics with Applications, 8, 6, 1982, 425-444.
[6] L. Kantha, “Tides—A Modern Perspective,” Marine Geodesy, 21, 4, 1998, pp. 275-297.
[7] R. Proctor, R. A. Flather and A. J. Elliott, “Modeling Tides and Surface Drift in the Arabian Gulf: Application to the Gulf Oil Spill,” Continental Shelf Research, 14, 5, 1994, pp. 531-545.
[8] S. Pous, “Dynamique Oceanique dans les Golfes Persique et d’Oman”, PhD Thesis, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, 2005, 365 p.
[9] P. Lazure and F. Dumas, “An External-Internal Mode Coupling for a 3D Hydrodynamical Model for Applications at Regional Scale (MARS),” Advances in Water Resources, 31, 2, 2007, pp. 233-250. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2007.06.010
[10] P. Pontius, L. Kantha, V. Anantharaj and T. J. Bennett, “Tidal Modeling in Marginal and Semi-Enclosed Seas,” Proceedings of the MTS 94 Conference, Challenges and Opportunities in the Marine Environment, Washington, 7-9 September 1994, pp. 770-776.
[11] P. C. Roos and H. M. Schuttelaars, “Influence of Topography on Tide Propagation and Amplification in Semi-Enclosed Basins,” Ocean Dynamics, 61, 1, 2011, pp. 21-38.
[12] V. C. John, “Harmonic Tidal Current Constituents of the Western Arabian Gulf from Moored Current Measurements,” Coastal Engineering, 17, 1992, pp. 145-151. doi:10.1016/0378-3839(92)90016-N
[13] C. A. Blain, “Barotropic Tidal and Residual Circulation in the Arabian Gulf,” In: M. L. Spaulding and H. L. Butler Eds., Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Estuarine and Coastal Modeling, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1998, pp. 166-180.
[14] S. Pous, X. Carton and P. Lazure, “Hydrology and Circulation in the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman; Results from the GOGP99 Experiment. I. Straits of Hormuz,” Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, C12037, 2004, pp. 1-15.
[15] S. Pous, X. Carton and P. Lazure, “Hydrology and Circulation in the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman; Results from the GOGP99 Experiment. II. Gulf of Oman”, Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, C12038, 2004, pp.1-26.

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.