Physical Oceanography, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2009
THERMOHYDRODYNAMICS OF THE OCEAN
INFLUENCE OF THE KERCH STRAIT ON SURGE PHENOMENA AND CURRENTS
INDUCED BY CYCLONIC DISTURBANCES IN THE SEA OF AZOV
V. A. Ivanov, V. V. Fomin, L. V. Cherkesov, and T. Ya. Shul’ga
On the basis of a numerical three-dimensional nonlinear
σ-coordinate model, we study the influ-
ence of cyclonic disturbances on the dynamics of waters in the Sea of Azov with and without
taking into account the water exchange through the Kerch Strait. It is shown that the presence of
water exchange through the strait increases the extreme levels of the surges by up to
influence of the sizes and directions of motion of cyclonic formations on the surge phenomena is
analyzed. It is shown that the fourfold increase in the size of the base of the south cyclone leads
to at most threefold increase in the maximum levels of the surge. At all points of the coast, south
cyclones lead to the formation of surges stronger than in the case of west cyclones by up to
At present, the investigations of surge phenomena seem to be a quite urgent problem because these pheno-
mena should necessarily be taken into account in constructing the coastal hydraulic structures, prediction of
floods and extremely high waves, etc. In these studies, the determination of catastrophic elevations and lower-
ings of the sea level occupies a special place. The solution of this problem is especially important for the coastal
regions of the seas connected by shallow straits. As follows from the data of long-term observations , the hur-
ricanes induced by cyclonic activity and observed in the Sea of Azov and its coastal regions in the winter and
spring periods lead to the formation of storm surges and affect the process of water exchange between the Black
Sea and Sea of Azov.
The problem of the influence of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait on the oscillations of level in the Black
Sea caused by the passage of cyclones was solved in  by using a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The
indicated mathematical model was applied in  to the analysis of the dependence of variations of the sea level
on the trajectories of motion of the cyclone. The water exchange between the Black Sea and Sea of Azov through
the Kerch Strait under the action of baric formations is estimated in . The specific features of the dynamics of
waters in the Azov basin in the absence of the influence of Kerch Strait were studied in the work  devoted to
the analysis of the influence of the parameters of cyclonic formations on surge motions by using the three-di-
σ-coordinate model [6, 7].
In the present work, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model is used to study the action of cyclonic distur-
bances on the dynamics of waters in the Sea of Azov with and without taking into account the water exchange
through the Kerch Strait. We also analyze the influence of the sizes of the Kerch Strait and cyclonic formations
on surge motions.
Statement of the Problem. Boundary and Initial Conditions
We introduce a coordinate system in which the
x-axis is directed eastward, the
y-axis is directed northward,
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
3–18, July–August, 2009. Original article submitted May 20, 2008.
0928-5105/09/1904–0197 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 197