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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 12, 491–503, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-12-491-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Quantifying predictability

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 12, 491–503, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-12-491-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  17 May 2005

17 May 2005

Ensemble Kalman filter assimilation of temperature and altimeter data with bias correction and application to seasonal prediction

C. L. Keppenne1, M. M. Rienecker2, N. P. Kurkowski1, and D. A. Adamec3 C. L. Keppenne et al.
  • 1Science Applications International Corporation, 4600 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA
  • 2Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, Mail Code 610.1, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
  • 3Oceans and Ice Branch, Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, Mail Code 614.2, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA

Abstract. To compensate for a poorly known geoid, satellite altimeter data is usually analyzed in terms of anomalies from the time mean record. When such anomalies are assimilated into an ocean model, the bias between the climatologies of the model and data is problematic. An ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is modified to account for the presence of a forecast-model bias and applied to the assimilation of TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) altimeter data. The online bias correction (OBC) algorithm uses the same ensemble of model state vectors to estimate biased-error and unbiased-error covariance matrices. Covariance localization is used but the bias covariances have different localization scales from the unbiased-error covariances, thereby accounting for the fact that the bias in a global ocean model could have much larger spatial scales than the random error.The method is applied to a 27-layer version of the Poseidon global ocean general circulation model with about 30-million state variables. Experiments in which T/P altimeter anomalies are assimilated show that the OBC reduces the RMS observation minus forecast difference for sea-surface height (SSH) over a similar EnKF run in which OBC is not used. Independent in situ temperature observations show that the temperature field is also improved. When the T/P data and in situ temperature data are assimilated in the same run and the configuration of the ensemble at the end of the run is used to initialize the ocean component of the GMAO coupled forecast model, seasonal SSH hindcasts made with the coupled model are generally better than those initialized with optimal interpolation of temperature observations without altimeter data. The analysis of the corresponding sea-surface temperature hindcasts is not as conclusive.

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