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On Sensitivity Analysis within the 4DVAR Framework

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  • 1 Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi
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Abstract

The sensitivity of model forecasts to uncertainties in control variables is evaluated using the adjoint technique and the ensemble generated by the reduced-order four-dimensional variational data assimilation (R4DVAR) algorithm within the framework of twin-data experiments with a quasigeostrophic model. To simulate real applications where the true state is unknown, the sensitivities were estimated using model solutions that were obtained after assimilating sparse observations extracted from the true solutions. The numerical experiments were conducted in the linear, weakly nonlinear, and strongly nonlinear (NL) regimes with special emphasis on the NL case characterized by the instability of the tangent linear model. It is shown that the ensemble-based R4DVAR method provides better sensitivity estimates in the NL case, primarily due to the better accuracy of the optimized solutions. The concept of sensitivity in the NL case is also considered within the statistical framework. Using analytical arguments and numerical experimentation, averaging the adjoint sensitivity estimates over an ensemble of model trajectories generated by finite perturbations of the optimal control is shown to provide an estimate similar to that obtained with the adjoint model stabilized by enhanced dissipation. This observation allows for evaluation of the sensitivities of strongly nonlinear optimal solutions by using both the adjoint (4DVAR) and ensemble (R4DVAR) optimization algorithms.

Naval Research Laboratory Contribution Number 7320-13-1728.

Corresponding author address: Max Yaremchuk, Naval Research Laboratory, Bldg. 1009, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529. E-mail: max.yaremchuk@nrlssc.navy.mil

Abstract

The sensitivity of model forecasts to uncertainties in control variables is evaluated using the adjoint technique and the ensemble generated by the reduced-order four-dimensional variational data assimilation (R4DVAR) algorithm within the framework of twin-data experiments with a quasigeostrophic model. To simulate real applications where the true state is unknown, the sensitivities were estimated using model solutions that were obtained after assimilating sparse observations extracted from the true solutions. The numerical experiments were conducted in the linear, weakly nonlinear, and strongly nonlinear (NL) regimes with special emphasis on the NL case characterized by the instability of the tangent linear model. It is shown that the ensemble-based R4DVAR method provides better sensitivity estimates in the NL case, primarily due to the better accuracy of the optimized solutions. The concept of sensitivity in the NL case is also considered within the statistical framework. Using analytical arguments and numerical experimentation, averaging the adjoint sensitivity estimates over an ensemble of model trajectories generated by finite perturbations of the optimal control is shown to provide an estimate similar to that obtained with the adjoint model stabilized by enhanced dissipation. This observation allows for evaluation of the sensitivities of strongly nonlinear optimal solutions by using both the adjoint (4DVAR) and ensemble (R4DVAR) optimization algorithms.

Naval Research Laboratory Contribution Number 7320-13-1728.

Corresponding author address: Max Yaremchuk, Naval Research Laboratory, Bldg. 1009, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529. E-mail: max.yaremchuk@nrlssc.navy.mil
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