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Parameter Estimation Using a Particle Method: Inferring Mixing Coefficients from Sea Level Observations

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  • 1 Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU), and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • | 2 Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht, Netherlands
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Abstract

This paper presents a first attempt to estimate mixing parameters from sea level observations using a particle method based on importance sampling. The method is applied to an ensemble of 128 members of model simulations with a global ocean general circulation model of high complexity. Idealized twin experiments demonstrate that the method is able to accurately reconstruct mixing parameters from an observed mean sea level field when mixing is assumed to be spatially homogeneous. An experiment with inhomogeneous eddy coefficients fails because of the limited ensemble size. This is overcome by the introduction of local weighting, which is able to capture spatial variations in mixing qualitatively. As the sensitivity of sea level for variations in mixing is higher for low values of mixing coefficients, the method works relatively well in regions of low eddy activity.

Corresponding author address: Dr. F. C. Vossepoel, IMAU/SRON, Princetonplein 5, NL-3584 CC Utrecht, Netherlands. Email: F.C.Vossepoel@phys.uu.nl

Abstract

This paper presents a first attempt to estimate mixing parameters from sea level observations using a particle method based on importance sampling. The method is applied to an ensemble of 128 members of model simulations with a global ocean general circulation model of high complexity. Idealized twin experiments demonstrate that the method is able to accurately reconstruct mixing parameters from an observed mean sea level field when mixing is assumed to be spatially homogeneous. An experiment with inhomogeneous eddy coefficients fails because of the limited ensemble size. This is overcome by the introduction of local weighting, which is able to capture spatial variations in mixing qualitatively. As the sensitivity of sea level for variations in mixing is higher for low values of mixing coefficients, the method works relatively well in regions of low eddy activity.

Corresponding author address: Dr. F. C. Vossepoel, IMAU/SRON, Princetonplein 5, NL-3584 CC Utrecht, Netherlands. Email: F.C.Vossepoel@phys.uu.nl

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