Multiscale forecasting in the western North Atlantic: Sensitivity of model forecast skill to glider data assimilation

Avijit Gangopadhyay, Andre Schmidt, Laurie Agel, Oscar Schofield, Jenifer Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A recently implemented real-time ocean prediction system for the western North Atlantic based on the physical circulation model component of the Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS) was used during an observation simulation experiment (OSE) in November 2009. The modeling system was built to capture the mesoscale dynamics of the Gulf Stream (GS), its meanders and rings, and its interaction with the shelf circulation. To accomplish this, the multiscale velocity-based feature models for the GS region are melded with the water-mass-based feature model for the Gulf of Maine and shelf climatology across the shelf/slope front for synoptic initialization. The feature-based initialization scheme was utilized for 4 short-term forecasts of varying lengths during the first two weeks of November 2009 in an ensemble mode with other forecasts to guide glider control.A reanalysis was then carried out by sequentially assimilating the data from three gliders (RU05, RU21 and RU23) for the two-week period. This two-week-long reanalysis framework was used to (i) study model sensitivity to SST and glider data assimilation; and (ii) analyze the impact of assimilation in space and time with patchy glider data. The temporal decay of salinity assimilation is found to be different than that of temperature. The spatial footprint of assimilated temperature appears to be more defined than that of salinity. A strategy for assimilating temperature and salinity in an SST-glider phased manner is then offered. The reanalysis results point to a number of new research directions for future sensitivity and quantitative studies in modeling and data assimilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S159-S176
JournalContinental Shelf Research
StatePublished - Jul 5 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography


  • Glider data assimilation
  • Mid-Atlantic Bight
  • Multiscale real-time forecasting
  • Observing simulation experiment (OSE)
  • Western North Atlantic


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