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Chung-Chieng A. Lai, Wen Qian, and Scott M. Glenn

The Institute for Naval Oceanography, in cooperation with Naval Research Laboratories and universities, executed the Data Assimilation and Model Evaluation Experiment (DAMÉE) for the Gulf Stream region during fiscal years 1991–1993. Enormous effort has gone into the preparation of several high-quality and consistent datasets for model initialization and verification. This paper describes the preparation process, the temporal and spatial scopes, the contents, the structure, etc., of these datasets.

The goal of DAMÉE and the need of data for the four phases of experiment are briefly stated. The preparation of DAMÉE datasets consisted of a series of processes: 1) collection of observational data; 2) analysis and interpretation; 3) interpolation using the Optimum Thermal Interpolation System package; 4) quality control and reanalysis; and 5) data archiving and software documentation.

The data products from these processes included a time series of 3D fields of temperature and salinity, 2D fields of surface dynamic height and mixed-layer depth, analysis of the Gulf Stream and rings system, and bathythermograph profiles. To date, these are the most detailed and high-quality data for mesoscale ocean modeling, data assimilation, and forecasting research. Feedback from ocean modeling groups who tested this data was incorporated into its refinement.

Suggestions for DAMÉE data usages include 1) ocean modeling and data assimilation studies, 2) diagnosis and theorectical studies, and 3) comparisons with locally detailed observations.

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