State estimates and forecasts of the northern Philippine Sea circulation including ocean acoustic travel times

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  • 1 Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA.
  • | 2 Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA.
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Abstract

The 2010–2011 North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL) Philippine Sea experiment measured travel times between six acoustic transceiver moorings in a 660–km diameter ocean acoustic tomography array in the Northern Philippine Sea (NPS). The travel-time series compare favorably with travel times computed for a yearlong series of state estimates produced for this region using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model–Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean four-dimensional variational (MITgcm-ECCO 4DVAR) assimilation system constrained by satellite sea surface height and sea surface temperature observations and by Argo temperature and salinity profiles. Fluctuations in the computed travel times largely match the fluctuations in the measurements caused by the intense mesoscale eddy field in the NPS, providing a powerful test of the observations and state estimates. The computed travel times tend to be shorter than the measured travel times, however, reflecting a warm bias in the state estimates. After processing the travel times to remove tidal signals and extract the low-frequency variability, the differences between the measured and computed travel times were used in addition to SSH, SST, and Argo temperature and salinity observations to further constrain the model and generate improved state estimates. The assimilation of the travel times reduced the misfit between the measured and computed travel times, while not increasing the misfits with the other assimilated observations. The state estimates that used the travel times are more consistent with temperature measurements from an independent oceanographic mooring than the state estimates that did not incorporate the travel times.

Corresponding author address: Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA. E-mail: ganeshgopal@ucsd.edu

Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA.

Abstract

The 2010–2011 North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL) Philippine Sea experiment measured travel times between six acoustic transceiver moorings in a 660–km diameter ocean acoustic tomography array in the Northern Philippine Sea (NPS). The travel-time series compare favorably with travel times computed for a yearlong series of state estimates produced for this region using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model–Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean four-dimensional variational (MITgcm-ECCO 4DVAR) assimilation system constrained by satellite sea surface height and sea surface temperature observations and by Argo temperature and salinity profiles. Fluctuations in the computed travel times largely match the fluctuations in the measurements caused by the intense mesoscale eddy field in the NPS, providing a powerful test of the observations and state estimates. The computed travel times tend to be shorter than the measured travel times, however, reflecting a warm bias in the state estimates. After processing the travel times to remove tidal signals and extract the low-frequency variability, the differences between the measured and computed travel times were used in addition to SSH, SST, and Argo temperature and salinity observations to further constrain the model and generate improved state estimates. The assimilation of the travel times reduced the misfit between the measured and computed travel times, while not increasing the misfits with the other assimilated observations. The state estimates that used the travel times are more consistent with temperature measurements from an independent oceanographic mooring than the state estimates that did not incorporate the travel times.

Corresponding author address: Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA. E-mail: ganeshgopal@ucsd.edu

Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA.

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