We analyzed the feasibility of the reconstruction of the spatially varying rheological parameters through the four-dimensional variational data assimilation of the sea ice velocity, thickness, and concentration into the viscoplastic (VP) sea ice model. The feasibility is assessed via idealized variational data assimilation experiments with synthetic observations configured for a 1-day data assimilation window in a 50 × 40 rectangular basin forced by the open boundaries, winds, and ocean currents and should be viewed as a first step in the developing the similar algorithms which can be applied for the more advanced sea ice models. It is found that “true” spatial variability (∼5.8 kN m−2) of the internal maximum ice strength parameter
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