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Collaborative Research: Atlantic Ocean Tropical/Subtropical Processes from Seasonal to Decadal Time Scales: Model/Data, Model/Model Comparison and Model/Data Synthesis Through AssimilationThe effort of this first year of research has been focused on the assimilation of TOPEX/Poseidon altimetric data into a primitive equation model of the Atlantic tropical/subtropical circulation. A reduced-rank, stationary Kalman filter has been constructed to assimilate the altimetric sea surface height anomaly (SHA) into the model. The goal is to assess how the inter-hemispheric transports between the Atlantic subtropics and tropics are affected by the assimilation and how the subsurface thermocline structure , and its variability ,is dynamically constrained by the SHA. The model is a reduced-gravity primitive equation GCM of the upper Atlantic Ocean between 30 S and 30 N. The assimilation scheme is an approximation to the extended Kalman filter in which the error covariances of the state estimates are calculated only in a reduced- dimension subspace. The subspace is defined by the leading empirical orthogonal functions calculated from an unconstrained model calculation. Both an identical twin experiment using simulated SHA observations and assimilation of the real TOPEX data were performed. Results from the twin experiments demonstrate the ability of the method to constrain the ocean circulation and the subsurface temperature structure. The impact on the subsurface temperature structure of TOPEX assimilation was assessed using data from expandable bathythermographs. This showed a substantial improvement in the estimated temperature variability only within 13 degrees in latitude around the equator. The impact of TOPEX SHA assimilation on zonally integrated meridional transport across different latitudes was also estimated. Again within 13 degrees from the equator both the mean amplitude and interannual variability of the surface and subsurface transports were significantly enhanced, while the transports were insensitive to the assimilation in the subtropics.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor or Grantee Report
Malannotte-Rizzoli, Paola (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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