Impact of Dynamical Representational Errors on an Indian Ocean Ensemble Data Assimilation System

Siva Reddy Sanikommu, Deep Sankar Benerjee, Balaji Baduru, Biswamoy Paul, Arya Paul, Kunal Chakraborty, Ibrahim Hoteit

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9 Scopus citations


This study investigates the impact of dynamical representational error (RE) on the analysis of an ocean ensemble Kalman filter-based data assimilation system, LETKF-ROMS (Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter - Regional Ocean Modeling system) configured for the Indian Ocean and assimilating in-situ temperature and salinity observations from Argo. Three different approaches to account for the RE are studied and inter-compared: (i) static RE (varies in horizontal and vertical direction), (ii) dynamic RE (varies in space and time) estimated from concurrent observations, and (iii) dynamic RE estimated using concurrent high resolution model outputs. RE estimated from the model outputs exhibits rich spatial and temporal variability with an estimated temporal mean RE for temperature below 0.5 °C and 0.2 °C in the surface and deep layers, respectively, and reaching up to 1°C in the thermocline layers. The region encompassing the Great Whirl displays a large seasonal variability reaching up to 0.8°C, and the South Equatorial Current (SEC)a large inter-annual variability reaching up to 0.4°C. Neglecting such spatio-temporal variations of RE and assimilating with a static RE limited the benefits of assimilation by entertaining over-fitting issues that caused degradations in the Bay of Bengal, the western parts of the Arabian Sea, and the equatorial Indian ocean. Assimilating with the observations-based dynamic RE improved the results in these regions, but the best performances were obtained with the configuration using the model-based dynamic RE, which yielded further improvements (e.g. reduction of sea surface height root-mean-square-errors reaches 30% with respect to the observations-based dynamic RE). The latter also better handled the rich spatial variability regions and areas not well sampled by the observations. Improved estimates of the spatial and temporal variations of RE helped to better exploit the assimilated observations and provided enhanced analyses less prone to assimilation shocks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3680-3691
Number of pages12
JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Issue number725
StatePublished - Aug 27 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank INCOIS Director for supporting this research. All the experiments were conducted on the high performance computer Aditya, IITM, Pune, India. The support from Aditya-HPC team is highly appreciated. SSR and AP acknowledge the training on LETKF-MOM by Prof. Eugenia Kalnay and her team Travis Sluka and Dr. Steve Penny at the University of Maryland under the Monsoon Mission-I project. Authors thank Dr. Steve Penny for providing 20CR ensemble forcing. The authors would like to thank also Dr.Munmun DasGupta, NCMRWF, India for providing the ocean observations. SSR would like to thank Dr. Rajesh Sikhakolli, ISRO, India for his valuable general suggestions. Authors hereby declare no conflict of interest.


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