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See detailA Multiplatform Experiment to Unravel Meso- and Submesoscale Processes in an Intense Front (AlborEx)
Pascual, Ananda; Ruiz, Simon; Olita, Antonio et al

in Frontiers in Marine Science (2017)

The challenges associated with meso- and submesoscale variability (between 1 and 100 km) require high-resolution observations and integrated approaches. Here we describe a major oceanographic experiment ... [more ▼]

The challenges associated with meso- and submesoscale variability (between 1 and 100 km) require high-resolution observations and integrated approaches. Here we describe a major oceanographic experiment designed to capture the intense but transient vertical motions in an area characterized by strong fronts. Finescale processes were studied in the eastern Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean) about 400 km east of the Strait of Gibraltar, a relatively sparsely sampled area. In-situ systems were coordinated with satellite data and numerical simulations to provide a full description of the physical and biogeochemical variability. Hydrographic data confirmed the presence of an intense salinity front formed by the confluence of Atlantic Waters, entering from Gibraltar, with the local Mediterranean waters. The drifters coherently followed the northeastern limb of an anticyclonic gyre. Near real time data from acoustic current meter data profiler showed consistent patterns with currents of up to 1 m/s in the southern part of the sampled domain. High-resolution glider data revealed submesoscale structures with tongues of chlorophyll-a and oxygen associated with the frontal zone. Numerical results show large vertical excursions of tracers that could explain the subducted tongues and filaments captured by ocean gliders. A unique aspect of AlborEx is the combination of high-resolution synoptic measurements of vessel-based measurements, autonomous sampling, remote sensing and modeling, enabling the evaluation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the observed distributions and biogeochemical patchiness. The main findings point to the importance of fine-scale processes enhancing the vertical exchanges between the upper ocean and the ocean interior. [less ▲]

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See detailNumerical study of Balearic meteotsunami generation and propagation under synthetic gravity wave forcing
Matjaž, Ličer; Mourre, Baptiste; Troupin, Charles ULg et al

in Ocean Modelling (2017), 111

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See detailAssimilation of high-frequency radar currents in the Ligurian Sea
Barth, Alexander ULg; Chiggiato, Jacopo; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg et al

Conference (2011, April)

The circulation in the Ligurian Sea is dominated by strong currents, namely the Western Corsican Current and the East Corsican Current, which jointly form the Northern Current. A high mesoscale activity ... [more ▼]

The circulation in the Ligurian Sea is dominated by strong currents, namely the Western Corsican Current and the East Corsican Current, which jointly form the Northern Current. A high mesoscale activity, including meanders and eddy formation, is associated to those energetic currents. The non-linear instability processes and apparently chaotic behavior of this current system make this region a challenging testbed for data assimilation. High-frequency radar surface currents have been measured by the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), La Spezia, Italy from two sites at the Italian Coast (Isola Palmaria and San Rossore). Each of those sites measures the radial currents relative to the position of the radar system. This WERA system captures well the general circulation and mesoscale flow features. The present study shows an application of the assimilation of those measurements in a nested model con- figuration of the Ligurian Sea. It is assumed that the error in the model surface currents comes primarily from uncertainties in the lateral boundary conditions and surface wind fields. The objective of this study is to reduce the uncertainty in these forcing fields by data assimilation. An ensemble of 100 perturbed lateral boundary conditions and surface wind fields is created to take the uncertainty into account. Using an ensemble-smoother technique described in Barth et al, 2010 (Ocean Science) and Barth et al, 2010 (Ocean Dynamics, in press), improved estimates of the wind forcing and boundary conditions are obtained. By rerunning the model with the updated forcing fields, it is verified that the analyzed model solution is closer to the observed HF radar currents. This technique is similar to 4D-Var, but since it is based on the ensemble covariance between forcing fields and observations, it does not require the formulation of an adjoint. [less ▲]

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See detailSuper-ensemble techniques applied to wave forecast: performance and limitations
Lenartz, Fabian ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg; Chiggiato, Jacopo et al

in Ocean Science (2010), 6(2), 595-604

Nowadays, several operational ocean wave forecasts are available for a same region. These predictions may considerably differ, and to choose the best one is generally a difficult task. The super-ensemble ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, several operational ocean wave forecasts are available for a same region. These predictions may considerably differ, and to choose the best one is generally a difficult task. The super-ensemble approach, which consists in merging different forecasts and past observations into a single multi-model prediction system, is evaluated in this study. During the DART06 campaigns organized by the NATO Undersea Research Centre, four wave forecasting systems were simultaneously run in the Adriatic Sea, and significant wave height was measured at six stations as well as along the tracks of two remote sensors. This effort provided the necessary data set to compare the skills of various multi-model combination techniques. Our results indicate that a super-ensemble based on the Kalman Filter improves the forecast skills: The bias during both the hindcast and forecast periods is reduced, and the correlation coefficient is similar to that of the best individual model. The spatial extrapolation of local results is not straightforward and requires further investigation to be properly implemented. [less ▲]

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