Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 329–338 | Cite as

Assessment of mixed layer models embedded in an ocean general circulation model

  • Michio Watanabe
  • Toshiyuki Hibiya
Original Article


The atmospheric mixed layer obtained using the Mellor–Yamada model grows slower and becomes shallower than observed, which motivated Nakanishi and Niino (J Meteorol Soc Jpn 87:895–912, 2009) to present a modified version of the Mellor–Yamada model. In this study, incorporating each of the Mellor–Yamada and the Nakanishi–Niino models into an ocean general circulation model, we evaluate its performance in the ocean. Comparing the numerical results with the observed ones in the western North Pacific, the Nakanishi–Niino model is shown to exhibit a better performance than the Mellor–Yamada model under strong wind forcing and sea surface cooling during winter and after passage of typhoons during summer.


Turbulence, diffusivity and mixing processes Surface mixed layer Near inertial oscillation Numerical modeling 



The authors thank Dr. Furuichi of the National Institute for Environmental Studies for helpful discussions and the two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments and suggestions which have significantly improved this manuscript. This research was supported by the Innovative Program of Climate Change Projection for the Twenty-First Century (KAKUSHIN program). The numerical experiments were carried out using the Earth Simulator under support of the Independent Administrative Institution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Research Institute for Global ChangeJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokohamaJapan

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