Data assimilation for modeling and predicting multiscale coupled physical-biological dynamical interactions in the sea

Allan R. Robinson, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Tuesday, August 13, 2002
2:00 p.m.–Pacific Forum

Data assimilation is now being extended to interdisciplinary oceanography from physical oceanography that has derived and extended methodologies from meteorology and engineering for over a decade and a half. There is considerable potential for data assimilation to contribute powerfully to understanding, modeling and predicting biological-physical interactions in the sea over the multiple scales in time and space involved. However, the complexity and scope of the problem will require substantial computational resources, adequate data sets, biological model developments and dedicated novel assimilation algorithms. Interdisciplinary interactive processes, multiple temporal and spatial scales, data and models of varied accuracy’s, and simple to complex methods are discussed. The powerful potential of dedicated compatible data sets is emphasized. Assimilation concepts and research issues are overviewed for field estimation and parameter estimation. Illustrations are presented for both deep sea and coastal regions, including results from real-time forecasts in Massachusetts Bay, the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere with the Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS).

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