Virginia Institute of Marine Science
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS
Lower trophic level marine ecosystem models are highly dependent on the parameter values given to key rate processes, however many of these are either unknown or difficult to measure. One solution to this problem is to apply data assimilation techniques that optimize key parameter values, however in many cases in situ ecosystem data are unavailable on the temporal and spatial scales of interest. Although multiple types of satellite-derived data are now available with high temporal and spatial resolution, the relative advantages of assimilating different satellite data types are not well known. Here these issues are examined by implementing a lower trophic level model in a one-dimensional data assimilative (variational adjoint) model testbed. A combination of experiments assimilating synthetic and actual satellite-derived data, including total chlorophyll, size-fractionated chlorophyll and particulate organic carbon (POC), reveal that this is an effective tool for improving simulated surface and subsurface distributions both for assimilated and unassimilated variables. Model-data misfits were lowest when parameters were optimized individually at specific sites; however, this resulted in unrealistic overtuned parameter values that deteriorated model skill at times and depths when data were not available for assimilation, highlighting the importance of assimilating data from multiple sites simultaneously. Finally, when chlorophyll data were assimilated without POC, POC simulations still improved, however the reverse was not true. For this two-phytoplankton size class model, optimal results were obtained when satellite-derived size-differentiated chlorophyll and POC were both assimilated simultaneously. Key Points Used an ecosystem model in a 1-D data assimilative framework Assimilation of satellite-derived size-differentiated chlorophyll and POC Assimilating satellite data at multiple sites constrained ecosystem parameters
data assimilation; satellite-derived data; marine ecosystem model; Mid-Atlantic Bight
Xiao, Yongjin and Friedrichs, Marjorie A.M., The assimilation of satellite-derived data into a one-dimensional lower trophic level marine ecosystem model (2014). JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, 119, 2691-2712.