Variational data assimilative modeling of the Gulf of Maine in spring and summer 2010
McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
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A data assimilative ocean circulation model is used to hindcast the Gulf of Maine [GOM) circulation in spring and summer 2010. Using the recently developed incremental strong constraint 4D Variational data assimilation algorithm, the model assimilates satellite sea surface temperature and in situ temperature and salinity profiles measured by expendable bathythermograph, Argo floats, and shipboard CTD casts. Validation against independent observations shows that the model skill is significantly improved after data assimilation. The data-assimilative model hindcast reproduces the temporal and spatial evolution of the ocean state, showing that a sea level depression southwest of the Scotian Shelf played a critical role in shaping the gulf-wide circulation. Heat budget analysis further demonstrates that both advection and surface heat flux contribute to temperature variability. The estimated time scale for coastal water to travel from the Scotian Shelf to the Jordan Basin is around 60 days, which is consistent with previous estimates based on in situ observations. Our study highlights the importance of resolving upstream and offshore forcing conditions in predicting the coastal circulation in the GOM.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120 (2015): 3522–3541, doi:10.1002/2014JC010492.
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