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Gopalakrishnan, G, Hoteit I, Cornuelle BD, Rudnick DL.  2019.  Comparison of 4DVAR and EnKF state estimates and forecasts in the Gulf of Mexico. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 145:1354-1376.   10.1002/qj.3493   AbstractWebsite

An experiment is conducted to compare four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) and ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) assimilation systems and their predictability in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm). The quality of the ocean-state estimates, forecasts, and the contribution of ensemble prediction are evaluated. The MITgcm-Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) 4DVAR (MITgcm-ECCO) and the MITgcm-Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) EnKF (MITgcm-DART) systems were used to compute two-month hindcasts (March-April, 2010) by assimilating satellite-derived along-track sea-surface height (SSH) and gridded sea-surface temperature (SST) observations. The estimates from both methods at the end of the hindcast period were then used to initialize forecasts for two months (May-June, 2010). This period was selected because a loop current (LC) eddy (Eddy Franklin: Eddy-F) detachment event occurred at the end of May 2010, immediately after the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill. Despite some differences between the setups, both systems produce analyses and forecasts of comparable quality and both solutions significantly outperformed model persistence. A reference forecast initialized from the 1/12 degrees Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM)/NCODA global analysis also performed well. The EnKF experiments for sensitivity to filter parameters showed enhanced predictability when using more ensemble members and stronger covariance localization, but not for larger inflation. The EnKF experiments varying the number of assimilation cycles showed enhanced short-term (long-term) predictability with fewer (more) assimilation cycles. Additional hindcast and forecast experiments at other times of significant LC evolution showed mixed performance of both systems, which depends strongly on the background state of the GoM circulation. The present work demonstrates a practical application of both assimilation methods for the GoM and compares them in a limited number of realizations. The overall conclusion showing improved short-term (long-term) predictability for EnKF (4DVAR) carries an important caveat that the results from this study are specific to a few 4DVAR and EnKF LC eddy separation experiments in the GoM and cannot be generalized to conclude the relative performance of both methods, especially in other applications. However, some of the concepts and methods should carry over to other applications.

Powell, BS, Kerry CG, Cornuelle BD.  2013.  Using a numerical model to understand the connection between the ocean and acoustic travel-time measurements. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 134:3211-3222.   10.1121/1.4818786   AbstractWebsite

Measurements of acoustic ray travel-times in the ocean provide synoptic integrals of the ocean state between source and receiver. It is known that the ray travel-time is sensitive to variations in the ocean at the transmission time, but the sensitivity of the travel-time to spatial variations in the ocean prior to the acoustic transmission have not been quantified. This study examines the sensitivity of ray travel-time to the temporally and spatially evolving ocean state in the Philippine Sea using the adjoint of a numerical model. A one year series of five day backward integrations of the adjoint model quantify the sensitivity of travel-times to varying dynamics that can alter the travel-time of a 611 km ray by 200 ms. The early evolution of the sensitivities reveals high-mode internal waves that dissipate quickly, leaving the lowest three modes, providing a connection to variations in the internal tide generation prior to the sample time. They are also strongly sensitive to advective effects that alter density along the ray path. These sensitivities reveal how travel-time measurements are affected by both nearby and distant waters. Temporal nonlinearity of the sensitivities suggests that prior knowledge of the ocean state is necessary to exploit the travel-time observations. (C) 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

Sarkar, J, Cornuelle BD, Kuperman WA.  2011.  Information and linearity of time-domain complex demodulated amplitude and phase data in shallow water. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 130:1242-1252.   10.1121/1.3613709   AbstractWebsite

Wave-theoretic ocean acoustic propagation modeling is used to derive the sensitivity of pressure, and complex demodulated amplitude and phase, at a receiver to the sound speed of the medium using the Born-Frechet derivative. Although the procedure can be applied for pressure as a function of frequency instead of time, the time domain has advantages in practical problems, as linearity and signal-to-noise are more easily assigned in the time domain. The linearity and information content of these sensitivity kernels is explored for an example of a 3-4 kHz broadband pulse transmission in a 1 km shallow water Pekeris waveguide. Full-wave observations (pressure as a function of time) are seen to be too nonlinear for use in most practical cases, whereas envelope and phase data have a wider range of validity and provide complementary information. These results are used in simulated inversions with a more realistic sound speed profile, comparing the performance of amplitude and phase observations. (C) 2011 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.3613709]