Sensitivity Simulations of Wind-driven Water Circulation in İzmit Bay

Sabri Mutlu*, Barış Önol, Mehmet Ilıcak, Hüsne Altıok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


İzmit Bay, a 50 km long inlet at the eastern end of the Marmara Sea, is crucial for the region’s economy, culture, and marine ecosystem. The bay’s water circulation regulates nutrient distribution, stratification, sedimentation, oxygen levels, heat, and pollution levels. It is also influenced by meteorological events, such as short-term moderate to strong wind conditions. This study investigated the sensitivity of İzmit Bay Water Circulation to wind speed, direction, and duration using the MITgcm model with Orlanski boundary conditions and process-oriented modeling. The simulations showed that under weak forcing conditions, seawater temperature, salinity, and stratification do not significantly vary. However, strong forcing and wind speeds (statistically defined by percentiles of observation data) of 4.9 m/s (75%), 6.7 m/s (90%), and 10.1 m/s (99%) generate significant mesoscale and sub-mesoscale processes, depending on the direction. Westerly component winds cause downwelling at the eastern coastline, while easterly component winds bring sub-surface water to the surface. Strong winds from N, NE, and E sectors lead to the rise in lower-layer waters in the western basin, forcing them to overflow through the Hersek Delta sill into the central basin. Overall, severe wind events greater than 4.9 m/s (75%) significantly affect the bay’s hydrography by transforming the upper layer, with a decrease in temperature up to 5 °C and an increase in salinity up to 10 ppt.

Original languageEnglish
Article number824
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • MITgcm
  • sensitivity simulations
  • upwelling
  • wind forcing
  • İzmit Bay


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