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  • Author or Editor: Clement Ubelmann x
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Bo Qiu, Shuiming Chen, Patrice Klein, Clement Ubelmann, Lee-Lueng Fu, and Hideharu Sasaki


Utilizing the framework of effective surface quasigeostrophic (eSQG) theory, this study explores the potential of reconstructing the 3D upper-ocean circulation structures, including the balanced vertical velocity w field, from high-resolution sea surface height (SSH) data of the planned Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission. Specifically, the authors utilize the 1/30°, submesoscale-resolving, OFES model output and subject it to the SWOT simulator that generates the along-swath SSH data with expected measurement errors. Focusing on the Kuroshio Extension region in the North Pacific where regional Rossby numbers range from 0.22 to 0.32, this study finds that the eSQG dynamics constitute an effective framework for reconstructing the 3D upper-ocean circulation field. Using the modeled SSH data as input, the eSQG-reconstructed relative vorticity ζ and w fields are found to reach a correlation of 0.7–0.9 and 0.6–0.7, respectively, in the 1000-m upper ocean when compared to the original model output. Degradation due to the SWOT sampling and measurement errors in the input SSH data for the ζ and w reconstructions is found to be moderate, 5%–25% for the 3D ζ field and 15%–35% for the 3D w field. There exists a tendency for this degradation ratio to decrease in regions where the regional eddy variability (or Rossby number) increases.

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