Assimilation of remotely-sensed optical properties to improve marine biogeochemistry modelling

Ciavatta, S; Torres, R; Martinez-Vicente, V; Smyth, TJ; Dall’Olmo, G; Polimene, L; Allen, JI. 2014 Assimilation of remotely-sensed optical properties to improve marine biogeochemistry modelling. Progress in Oceanography, 127. 74-95.

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In this paper we evaluate whether the assimilation of remotely-sensed optical data into a marine ecosystem model improves the simulation of biogeochemistry in a shelf sea. A localized Ensemble Kalman filter was used to assimilate weekly diffuse light attenuation coefficient data, Kd(443) from SeaWiFs, into an ecosystem model of the western English Channel. The spatial distributions of (unassimilated) surface chlorophyll from satellite, and a multivariate time series of eighteen biogeochemical and optical variables measured in situ at one long-term monitoring site were used to evaluate the system performance for the year 2006. Assimilation reduced the root mean square error and improved the correlation with the assimilated Kd(443) observations, for both the analysis and, to a lesser extent, the forecast estimates, when compared to the reference model simulation. Improvements in the simulation of (unassimilated) ocean colour chlorophyll were less evident, and in some parts of the Channel the simulation of this data deteriorated. The estimation errors for the (unassimilated) in situ data were reduced for most variables with some exceptions, e.g. dissolved nitrogen. Importantly, the assimilation adjusted the balance of ecosystem processes by shifting the simulated food web towards the microbial loop, thus improving the estimation of some properties, e.g. total particulate carbon. Assimilation of Kd(443) outperformed a comparative chlorophyll assimilation experiment, in both the estimation of ocean colour data and in the simulation of independent in situ data. These results are related to relatively low error in Kd(443) data, and because it is a bulk optical property of marine ecosystems. Assimilation of remotely-sensed optical properties is a promising approach to improve the simulation of biogeochemical and optical variables that are relevant for ecosystem functioning and climate change studies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Data and Information
Earth Observation - Remote Sensing
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > National Centre for Earth Observation
Depositing User: Stefano Ciavatta
Date made live: 18 Nov 2014 13:53
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2018 11:37

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