Altimeter assimilation in the OCCAM global model

A.d Fox, K Haines, B.a De Cuevas, D.j Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


An altimeter data assimilation scheme has been tested in the OCCAM (Ocean Circulation and Climate Advanced Modelling) global 1/4°, 36-level model using a twin experiment format. The Cooper and Haines displacement scheme is used. The method works well in most regions and depths. Currents and densities in the top 1000 m generally improve by over 50–70% after 5 months of sea level assimilation every 15 days. Below 1000 m, an error reduction of up to 50% is achieved. The errors remain low during a further 60-day run without assimilation. Diagnostics for the North Atlantic, the Tropical Pacific and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current are shown alongside the global averages.

The main problems encountered were in weakly stratified regions of the Antarctic and Arctic seas. A scale selective filter is developed to avoid assimilating scales much larger than the local deformation radius, and this avoids the adverse assimilation effects in the southern oceans. A companion paper uses this scheme to assimilate TOPEX and ERS-1 altimeter maps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-322
Number of pages19
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2000


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