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Status and future of data assimilation in operational oceanography

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 09:56 authored by Martin, MJ, Balmaseda, M, Bertino, C, Brasseur, P, Brassington, G, Cummings, J, Fujui, Y, Lea, DJ, Lellouche, J-M, Mogensen, K, Oke, PR, Smith, GC, Testut, C-E, Waagbo, GA, Waters, J, Weaver, AT
The GODAE OceanView systems use various data assimilation algorithms, including 3DVar, EnOI, EnKF and the SEEK filter with a fixed basis, using different time windows. The main outputs of the operational data assimilation systems, the increments, have been compared for February 2014 in various regions. The eddy-permitting systems’ increments are similar in a number of the regions, indicating similar forecast errors are being corrected, while the eddy-resolving systems represent smaller-scale structures in the mid-latitude regions investigated and appear to have smaller biases. Monthly average temperature increments show significant SST biases, particularly in the systems which assimilate swath satellite SST data, indicating systematic errors in the surface heat fluxes and the way in which they are propagated vertically by the ocean models. On-going developments to the data assimilation systems include improvements to the specification of error covariances, improving assimilation of data near the equator, and understanding the effect of assimilation on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Longer term developments are expected to include the implementation of more advanced algorithms to make use of flow-dependent error covariance information. Assimilation of new data sources over the coming years, such as wide-swath altimetry, is also expected to improve the accuracy of ocean state estimates and forecasts provided by the GODAE OceanView systems.


Publication title

Journal of Operational Oceanography










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Taylor & Francis

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 British Crown Copyright, the Met Office. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition

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