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Improving coastal circulation analysis and prediction through refined altimeter data processing and variational data assimilation into a regional ocean model
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Authors:
John Wilkin
(Rutgers, The State University)

Co-Investigator(s):
Remko Scharroo
(Altimetrics LLC)
Douglas Vandemark
(University of New Hampshire)
Javier Zavala-Garay
(IMCS, Rutgers University)

Abstract:

We are developing and validating an improved coastal ocean analysis system that (i) comprises a reprocessed coastal altimeter data stream derived using regional de-aliasing corrections and other required near-coast data filtering and error correction approaches, and (ii) incorporates these data into a high-resolution regional ocean model using advanced 4-dimensional variational methods for data assimilation.

The coastal altimeter product includes data starting from the TOPEX/Poseidon mission through to OSTM and will be implemented within the Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS). The ocean model will be the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) which is widely used for continental shelf applications, and includes 4-dimensional variational data assimilation algorithms well suited to the assimilation of along-track altimeter data.

We are prototyping the system in the Gulf of Maine and Mid-Atlantic Bight (GoM-MAB) region where there exist extensive complimentary data sets for validation from Regional Associations of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The waters of the region are used heavily for maritime activities, and the system we develop will be targeted toward practical applications related to numerous societal needs. The methodologies will be generic with a view to application in coastal regions globally.

To achieve these goals we have assembled a team with extensive prior experience in altimeter data processing (D. Vandemark, R. Scharroo), advanced altimeter data assimilation (J. Zavala-Garay, J. Wilkin), and both data analysis (G. Han) and modeling (Han, Wilkin) of the circulation of the GoM-MAB region. We have also established a formal collaboration with the European team led by L. Roblou that pioneered coastal altimeter studies in the Mediterranean Sea and has complimentary research entitled MARINA (MARgin Integrated Approach) being completed for CNES.



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