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  • Author or Editor: D. L. T. Anderson x
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A. M. Moore, N. S. Cooper, and D. L. T. Anderson

Abstract

Numerical experiments have been conducted to investigate the effect of updating models of the Indian Ocean using simulated temperature (mass) and velocity data. Two models are used: a linear reduced gravity model with one active layer, and a nonlinear 12-level general circulation model (GCM). In both cases an “identical twin” approach is adopted, in which the same model is used to generate the “observed” data in a “truth run”, as is used in the assimilation run.

Temperature data is found to be better than velocity data for initializing both models. However, further experiments with the layer model showed that increasing the model diffusion and decreasing the eddy viscosity results in velocity data being better for initializing. These results are ascribed to the energy distribution, with the proportion of kinetic energy being greater in the later experiments.

Simulated data from the proposed TOGA Indian Ocean XBT network were also assimilated into both models using a successive correction interpolation scheme. It is found that for the layer model, which had smooth horizontal variations in thermocline depth, the errors fall to zero within a couple of months. However, in the experiments with the GCM there is little reduction in the assimilation error after the first model update, due to the data analysis scheme not being able to resolve the horizontal temperature structure in the GCM.

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J. O. S. Alves, K. Haines, and D. L. T. Anderson

Abstract

Idealized twin experiments with the HOPE ocean model have been used to study the ability of sea level data assimilation to correct for errors in a model simulation of the tropical Pacific, using the Cooper and Haines method to project the surface height increments below the surface. This work should be seen in the context of the development of the comprehensive real-time ocean analysis system used at ECMWF for seasonal forecasting, which currently assimilates only thermal data.

Errors in the model simulation from two sources are studied: those present in the initial state and those generated by errors in the surface forcing during the simulation. In the former, the assimilation of sea level data improves the convergence of the model toward its twin. Without assimilation convergence occurs more slowly on the equator, compared to an experiment using only correct surface forcing. With forcing errors present the sea level assimilation still significantly reduces the errors almost everywhere. An exception was in the central equatorial Pacific where assimilation of sea level did not correct the errors. This is mainly due to this region responding rapidly to errors in wind stress forcing and also to relatively large freshwater flux errors imposed here. These lead to errors in the mixed layer salinity, which the Cooper and Haines scheme is not designed to correct. It is argued that surface salinity analyses would strongly complement sea level assimilation here.

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Weiqing Han, Julian P. McCreary Jr., D. L. T. Anderson, and Arthur J. Mariano

Abstract

An hierarchy of ocean models is used to investigate the dynamics of the eastward surface jets that develop along the Indian Ocean equator during the spring and fall, the Wyrtki jets (WJs). The models vary in dynamical complexity from 2½-layer to 4½-layer systems, the latter including active thermodynamics, mixed layer physics, and salinity. To help identify processes, both linear and nonlinear solutions are obtained at each step in the hierarchy. Specific processes assessed are as follows: direct forcing by the wind, reflected Rossby waves, resonance, mixed layer shear, salinity effects, and the influence of the Maldive Islands. In addition, the sensitivity of solutions to forcing by different wind products is reported.

Consistent with previous studies, the authors find that direct forcing by the wind is the dominant forcing mechanism of the WJs, accounting for 81% of their amplitude when there is a mixed layer. Reflected Rossby waves, resonance, and mixed layer shear are all necessary to produce jets with realistic strength and structure. Completely new results are that precipitation during the summer and fall considerably strengthens the fall WJ in the eastern ocean by thinning the mixed layer, and that the Maldive Islands help both jets to attain roughly equal strengths.

In both the ship-drift data and the authors’ “best” solution (i.e., the solution to the highest model in the authors’ hierarchy), the semiannual response is more than twice as large as the annual one, even though the corresponding wind components have comparable amplitudes. Causes of this difference are as follows: the complex zonal structure of the annual wind, which limits the directly forced response at the annual frequency;resonance with the semiannual wind; and mixed layer shear flow, which interferes constructively (destructively) with the rest of the response for the semiannual (annual) component. Even in the most realistic solution, however, the annual component still weakens the fall WJ and strengthens the spring one in the central ocean, in contrast to the ship-drift data; this model/data discrepancy may result from model deficiencies, inaccurate driving winds, or from windage errors in the ship-drift data themselves.

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