Publication Detail

Application and Comparison of Kalman Filters for Coastal Ocean Problems: an Experiment with FVCOM

Changsheng Chen, Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli, Jun Wei
17 pp.
MITSG 09-28J
$5.50 DOM / $7.50 INT

Twin experiments were made to compare the reduced rank Kalman filter (RRKF),
ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF), and ensemble square-root Kalman filter (EnSKF) for
coastal ocean problems in three idealized regimes: a flat bottom circular shelf driven by
tidal forcing at the open boundary; an linear slope continental shelf with river discharge;
and a rectangular estuary with tidal flushing intertidal zones and freshwater discharge. The
hydrodynamics model used in this study is the unstructured grid Finite-Volume Coastal
Ocean Model (FVCOM). Comparison results show that the success of the data
assimilation method depends on sampling location, assimilation methods (univariate or
multivariate covariance approaches), and the nature of the dynamical system. In general,
for these applications, EnKF and EnSKF work better than RRKF, especially for timedependent
cases with large perturbations. In EnKF and EnSKF, multivariate covariance
approaches should be used in assimilation to avoid the appearance of unrealistic numerical
oscillations. Because the coastal ocean features multiscale dynamics in time and space, a
case-by-case approach should be used to determine the most effective and most reliable
data assimilation method for different dynamical systems.

type: Journal, book, proceeding reprints

Parent Project

Project No.: 2008-R/RC-108
Title: Data Assimilation and Optimal Observing Systems Design Experiments in Massachusetts Waters: Modeling

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