Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Molcard A., Griffa A., Ozgokmen T. Lagrangian data assimilation in multilayer primitive equation ocean models. In: Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, vol. 22 (1) pp. 70 - 83. American Meteorological Society, 2005.
"Because of the increases in the realism of OGCMs and in the coverage of Lagrangian datasets in most of the world's oceans, assimilation of Lagrangian data in OGCMs emerges as a natural avenue to improve ocean state forecast with many potential practical applications, such as environmental pollutant transport, biological, and naval-related problems. In this study, a Lagrangian data assimilation method, which was introduced in prior studies in the context of single-layer quasigeostrophic and primitive equation models, is extended for use in multilayer OGCMs using statistical correlation coefficients between velocity fields in order to project the information from the data-containing layer to the other model layers. The efficiency of the assimilation scheme is tested using a set of twin experiments with a three-layer model, as a function of the layer in which the floats are launched and of the assimilation sampling period normalized by the Lagrangian time scale of motion. It is found that the assimilation scheme is effective provided that the correlation coefficient between the layer that contains the data and the others is high, and the data sampling period Deltat is smaller than the Lagrangian time scale T-L. When the assimilated data are taken in the first layer, which is the most energetic and is characterized by the fastest time scale, the assimilation is very efficient and gives relatively low errors also in the other layers (approximate to40% in the first 120 days) provided that Deltat is small enough, Deltat < < T-L. The assimilation is also efficient for data released in the third layer (errors < 60%), while the dependence on &UDelta;t is distinctively less marked for the same range of values, since the time scales of the deeper layer are significantly longer. Results for the intermediate layer show a similar insensitivity to &UDelta;t, but the errors are higher (exceeding 70%), because of the lower correlation with the other layers. These results suggest that the assimilation of deep-layer data with low energetics can be very effective, but it is strongly dependent on layer correlation. The methodology also remains quite robust to large deviations from geostrophy."
Subject sea-surface height
north-atlantic ocean
in-situ data
drifter observations
subsurface floats
tropical atlantic
altimetric data

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