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Improving Ocean State by Assimilating SARAL/AltiKa Derived Sea Level and Other Satellite-Derived Data in MITGCM

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Assimilation of satellite-derived surface datasets has been explored in the study. Three types of surface data, namely sea level anomaly, sea surface temperature and sea surface salinity, have been used in various data assimilation experiments. The emphasis has been on the extra benefit arising out of the additional sea level assimilation and hence there are two parallel runs, in one of which sea level assimilation has been withheld. The model used is a state-of-the art ocean general circulation model (OGCM) and the assimilation method is the widely used singular evolutive extended Kalman filter (SEEK). Evaluation of the assimilation skill has been carried out by comparing the simulated depth of the 20°C isotherm with the same quantity measured by buoys and Argo floats. Simulated subsurface temperature and salinity profiles have also been compared with the same profiles measured by Argo floats. Finally, surface currents in the assimilation runs have been compared with currents measured by several off-equatorial buoys. Addition of sea level has been found to substantially improve the quality of simulation. An important feature that has been effectively simulated by the addition of sea level in the assimilation scheme is the near-surface temperature inversion (2-3°C) in the northern Bay of Bengal.
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Keywords: MITGCM; SEEK filter; altimetry; data assimilation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organization, Ahmedabad, India

Publication date: September 10, 2015

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