Journal of
Oceanography and Marine Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Oceanogr. Mar. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2294
  • DOI: 10.5897/JOMS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 61

Full Length Research Paper

Modelling the dynamics of the Tanzanian coastal waters

Shigalla B. Mahongo
  • Shigalla B. Mahongo
  • Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, Institute HQ, P. O. Box 9750, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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Yohanna W. Shaghude
  • Yohanna W. Shaghude
  • Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, P. O. Box 668, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 28 November 2013
  •  Published: 07 January 2014


A numerical modeling study was carried out using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) for the Tanzanian coast to investigate the seasonal dynamics of water circulation, temperature and salinity. The model results indicated the presence of an eddy on the surface that develops during the Northeast (NE) monsoon and which has not been documented previously. The study also revealed that, the core of the East African Coastal Current (EACC) passes adjacent to the coast, just off the three major islands of Pemba, Zanzibar, and Mafia. There are localized patches of strong currents parallel and adjacent to the mainland coast, with magnitudes that are influenced by the coastline configuration, bottom topography and the extent of exposure to the main stream of the EACC. The current speeds along the coast of Tanzania are lowest in February and March, and highest in July, August, and November but generally not exceeding 1 ms-1. Surface salinities generally vary between 34.8 and 35.5, whereas surface temperatures range from a minimum of 25.0°C to a maximum of 30.2°C. The modelled salinity and temperature profiles are similar to those observed from field observations of previous investigations.

Key words: Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) model; seasonal variations; water circulation; salinity; water temperature; Tanzanian coast.