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Edwards, CA, Moore AM, Hoteit I, Cornuelle BD.  2015.  Regional ocean data assimilation. Annual Review of Marine Science, Vol 7. 7:21-42.   10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015821   AbstractWebsite

This article reviews the past 15 years of developments in regional ocean data assimilation. A variety of scientific, management, and safety-related objectives motivate marine scientists to characterize many ocean environments, including coastal regions. As in weather prediction, the accurate representation of physical, chemical, and/or biological properties in the ocean is challenging. Models and observations alone provide imperfect representations of the ocean state, but together they can offer improved estimates. Variational and sequential methods are among the most widely used in regional ocean systems, and there have been exciting recent advances in ensemble and four-dimensional variational approaches. These techniques are increasingly being tested and adapted for biogeochemical applications.

Zhang, XB, Cornuelle B, Roemmich D.  2011.  Adjoint Sensitivity of the Nino-3 Surface Temperature to Wind Forcing. Journal of Climate. 24:4480-4493.   10.1175/2011jcli3917.1   AbstractWebsite

The evolution of sea surface temperature (SST) over the eastern equatorial Pacific plays a significant role in the intense tropical air-sea interaction there and is of central importance to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Effects of atmospheric fields (especially wind stress) and ocean state on the eastern equatorial Pacific SST variations are investigated using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm) and its adjoint model, which can calculate the sensitivities of a cost function (in this case the averaged 0-30-m temperature in the Nino-3 region during an ENSO event peak) to previous atmospheric forcing fields and ocean state going backward in time. The sensitivity of the Nino-3 surface temperature to monthly zonal wind stress in preceding months can be understood by invoking mixed layer heat balance, ocean dynamics, and especially linear equatorial wave dynamics. The maximum positive sensitivity of the Nino-3 surface temperature to local wind forcing usually happens similar to 1-2 months before the peak of the ENSO event and is hypothesized to be associated with the Ekman pumping mechanism. In model experiments, its magnitude is closely related to the subsurface vertical temperature gradient, exhibiting strong event-to-event differences with strong (weak) positive sensitivity during La Nina (strong El Nino) events. The adjoint sensitivity to remote wind forcing in the central and western equatorial Pacific is consistent with the standard hypothesis that the remote wind forcing affects the Nino-3 surface temperature indirectly by exciting equatorial Kelvin and Rossby waves and modulating thermocline depth in the Nino-3 region. The current adjoint sensitivity study is consistent with a previous regression-based sensitivity study derived from perturbation experiments. Finally, implication for ENSO monitoring and prediction is also discussed.

Hoteit, I, Cornuelle B, Heimbach P.  2010.  An eddy-permitting, dynamically consistent adjoint-based assimilation system for the tropical Pacific: Hindcast experiments in 2000. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 115   10.1029/2009jc005437   AbstractWebsite

An eddy-permitting adjoint-based assimilation system has been implemented to estimate the state of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The system uses the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's general circulation model and its adjoint. The adjoint method is used to adjust the model to observations by controlling the initial temperature and salinity; temperature, salinity, and horizontal velocities at the open boundaries; and surface fluxes of momentum, heat, and freshwater. The model is constrained with most of the available data sets in the tropical Pacific, including Tropical Atmosphere and Ocean, ARGO, expendable bathythermograph, and satellite SST and sea surface height data, and climatologies. Results of hindcast experiments in 2000 suggest that the iterated adjoint-based descent is able to significantly improve the model consistency with the multivariate data sets, providing a dynamically consistent realization of the tropical Pacific circulation that generally matches the observations to within specified errors. The estimated model state is evaluated both by comparisons with observations and by checking the controls, the momentum balances, and the representation of small-scale features that were not well sampled by the observations used in the assimilation. As part of these checks, the estimated controls are smoothed and applied in independent model runs to check that small changes in the controls do not greatly change the model hindcast. This is a simple ensemble-based uncertainty analysis. In addition, the original and smoothed controls are applied to a version of the model with doubled horizontal resolution resulting in a broadly similar "downscaled'' hindcast, showing that the adjustments are not tuned to a single configuration (meaning resolution, topography, and parameter settings). The time-evolving model state and the adjusted controls should be useful for analysis or to supply the forcing, initial, and boundary conditions for runs of other models.

Hoteit, I, Cornuelle B, Thierry V, Stammer D.  2008.  Impact of resolution and optimized ECCO forcing on Simulations of the tropical pacific. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 25:131-147.   10.1175/2007jtecho528.1   AbstractWebsite

The sensitivity of the dynamics of a tropical Pacific Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) general circulation model (MITgcm) to the surface forcing fields and to the horizontal resolution is analyzed. During runs covering the period 1992-2002, two different sets of surface forcing boundary conditions are used, obtained 1) from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis project and 2) from the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) assimilation consortium. The "ECCO forcing" is the "NCEP forcing" adjusted by a state estimation procedure using the MITgcm with a 1 degrees x 1 degrees global grid and the adjoint method assimilating a multivariate global ocean dataset. The skill of the model is evaluated against ocean observations available in situ and from satellites. The model domain is limited to the tropical Pacific, with open boundaries located along 26 degrees S, 26 degrees N, and in the Indonesian throughflow. To account for large-scale changes of the ocean circulation, the model is nested in the global time-varying ocean state provided by the ECCO consortium on a 1 grid. Increasing the spatial resolution to 1/3 degrees and using the ECCO forcing fields significantly improves many aspects of the circulation but produces overly strong currents in the western model domain. Increasing the resolution to 1/6 degrees does not yield further improvements of model results. Using the ECCO heat and freshwater fluxes in place of NCEP products leads to improved time-mean model skill (i.e., reduced biases) over most of the model domain, underlining the important role of adjusted heat and freshwater fluxes for improving model representations of the tropical Pacific. Combinations of ECCO and NCEP wind forcing fields can improve certain aspects of the model solutions, but neither ECCO nor NCEP winds show clear overall superiority.

Miller, AJ, Di Lorenzo E, Neilson DJ, Cornuelle BD, Moisan JR.  2000.  Modeling CalCOFI observations during El Nino: Fitting physics and biology. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports. 41:87-97. AbstractWebsite

Surveys of temperature, salinity, and velocity from CalCOFI, altimetric measurements of sea level, and drifter observations of temperature and velocity during the 1997-98 El Nino are now being fit with an eddy-resolving ocean model of the Southern California Eight region to obtain dynamically consistent estimates of eddy variability. Skill is evaluated by the model-data mismatch (rms error) during the fitting interval and eventually by forecasting independent data. Preliminary results of fitting July 1997 physical fields are discussed. The physical fields are used to drive a three-dimensional NPZD-type model to be fit to subsurface chlorophyll a (chl a), nitrate, and bulk zooplankton from CalCOFI surveys, and surface chi a from SeaWiFS. Preliminary results of testing the ecosystem model in one-dimensional and three-dimensional form are discussed.