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Impact of combining GRACE and GOCE gravity data on ocean circulation estimates

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Janjic Pfander, T. , Schröter, J. , Savcenko, R. , Bosch, W. , Albertella, A. , Rummel, R. and Klatt, O. (2012): Impact of combining GRACE and GOCE gravity data on ocean circulation estimates , Ocean Science, 8 , pp. 65-79 . doi: 10.5194/os-8-65-2012
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Abstract:

With the focus on the Southern Ocean circulation, results of assimilation of multi-mission-altimeter data and the GRACE/GOCE gravity data into the finite element ocean model (FEOM) are investigated. We use the geodetic method to obtain the dynamical ocean topography (DOT). This method combines the multi-mission-altimeter sea surface height and the GRACE/GOCE gravity field. Using the profile approach, the spectral consistency of both fields is achieved by filtering the sea surface height and the geoid. By combining the GRACE and GOCE data, a considerably shorter filter length can be used, which results in more DOT details. We show that this increase in resolution of measured DOT carries onto the results of data assimilation for the surface data. By assimilating only absolute dynamical topography data using the ensemble Kalman filter, we were able to improve modeled fields. Results are closer to observations which were not used for assimilation and lie outside the area covered by altimetry in the Southern Ocean (e.g. temperature of surface drifters or deep temperatures in the Weddell Sea area at 800 m depth derived from Argo composite.)

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