On the assimilation of absolute geodetic dynamic topography in a global ocean model: impact on the deep ocean state

Alexey.Androsov [ at ] awi.de


General ocean circulation models are not perfect. Forced with observed atmospheric fluxes they gradually drift away from measured distributions of temperature and salinity. We suggest data assimilation of absolute dynamical ocean topography (DOT) observed from space geodetic missions as an option to reduce these differences. Sea surface information of DOT is transferred into the deep ocean by defining the analysed ocean state as a weighted average of an ensemble of fully consistent model solutions using an error-subspace ensemble Kalman filter technique. Success of the technique is demonstrated by assimilation into a global configuration of the ocean circulation model FESOM over 1 year. The dynamic ocean topography data are obtained from a combination of multi-satellite altimetry and geoid measurements. The assimilation result is assessed using independent temperature and salinity analysis derived from profiling buoys of the AGRO float data set. The largest impact of the assimilation occurs at the first few analysis steps where both the model ocean topography and the steric height (i.e. temperature and salinity) are improved. The continued data assimilation over 1 year further improves the model state gradually. Deep ocean fields quickly adjust in a sustained manner: A model forecast initialized from the model state estimated by the data assimilation after only 1 month shows that improvements induced by the data assimilation remain in the model state for a long time. Even after 11 months, the modelled ocean topography and temperature fields show smaller errors than the model forecast without any data assimilation.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Research Networks
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1007/s00190-018-1151-1

Cite as
Androsov, A. , Nerger, L. , Schnur, R. , Schröter, J. , Albertella, A. , Rummel, R. , Savcenko, R. , Bosch, W. , Skachko, S. and Danilov, S. (2019): On the assimilation of absolute geodetic dynamic topography in a global ocean model: impact on the deep ocean state , Journal of Geodesy, 93 , pp. 141-157 . doi: 10.1007/s00190-018-1151-1

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Funded by
SPP1257 SPP1788

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