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Questions about virtual salt flux


New Member
Dear all,
In pop namelist, sfc_layer_opt = 'varthick', lfw_as_salt_flx="true" are set by default, so the model has to treat fresh-water flux as virtual salt flux. I wonder if the fresh-water flux only changes ocean salinity, other variables such as volume, mass are not changed by fresh-water flux with these two options (sfc_layer_opt = 'varthick', lfw_as_salt_flx="true").
Thanks for your reply.


Frank Bryan
New Member
You are correct that with the virtual salt flux option (the only option supported in CESM), the surface water flux is applied only as a boundary condition to the salinity equation, not the volume conservation equation. You may find the explanation in the appendix of the following paper helpful

Tseng, Y-H et al (2016) Impacts of the representation of riverine freshwater input in the Community Earth System Model. Ocean Model., 105, 71-86.