Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Taillandier V., Dobricic S., Testor P., Pinardi N., Griffa A., Mortier L., Gasparini G. Integration of Argo trajectories in the Mediterranean Forecasting System and impact on the regional analysis of the western Mediterranean circulation. In: Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 115 (3) article n. C03007. American Geophysical Union, 2010.
The impact of Argo float trajectory assimilation on the quality of ocean analyses is studied by means of an operational oceanographic model implemented in the Mediterranean Sea and a 3D-Var assimilation scheme. For the first time, both Argo trajectories and vertical profiles of temperature and salinity (TS) together with satellite altimeter data of sea level anomaly (SLA) are assimilated to produce analyses for short-term forecasts. The study period covers 3 months during winter 2005 when four Argo trajectories were present in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The scheme is first assessed computing the misfits between observations and model forecast and analysis. The misfit statistics appear improved for float trajectories, while they are not degraded for the other assimilated variables (TS profiles and SLA). This indicates that the trajectory integration is consistent with the other components of the assimilation system and provides new information on horizontal pressure gradients. Comparisons between analyses obtained with and without trajectory assimilation suggest that trajectory assimilation can have an impact on the description of boundary currents and their instabilities, as well as mesoscale activity at regional scales. Changes are depicted by intermediate water mass redistributions, mesoscale eddy relocations, and net transport modulations. These impacts are detailed and assessed considering historical and simultaneous in situ data sets. The results motivate the integration of Argo trajectories in the operational Mediterranean Forecasting System.
DOI: 10.1029/2008JC005251
Subject Lagrangian data analysis
Mediterranean circulation
ocean prediction

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