The assimilation of satellite altimeter data into a global eddy resolving ocean model
Tokmakian, Robin Telrud
Semtner, Albert J.
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Two assimilation experiments have been conducted using the Semtner/Chervin Parallel Ocean Climate Model at 1/40 resolution to investigate the dynamical changes which occur with the application of the nudging method to incorporate sea surface height observations (with associated vertical corrections to temperature and salinity) into a global eddy resolving ocean model. The first experiment used a previous model run as the observational field to determine if the assimilation technique, nudging, produced significant changes in the simulated fields to adjust the model to the observed fields when staring at a statistically different initial condition. The twin experiment has shown that the model does respond to the inclusion of the observed fields. Both the surface fields and subsurface fields have been adjusted towards these synthetic observations. The second experiment involved the use of a combined altimetric sea surface height anomaly field from the ERS-1 and the T/P satellites. The surface height fields are extended vertically by using the Levitus 94 monthly climatological fields. This dissertation has shown that assimilation of surface height data and an associated vertical adjustment to temperature and salinity, modifies both the surface and subsurface fields. Changes can be seen in both prognostic and diagnostic quantities (such as heat content and meridional overturning) while remaining dynamically consistent with the numerics of the model itself. Comparison of the simulated fields with in situ observations of temperature and salinity show that the model has adjusted towards observations not included in the assimilation process
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