Loop Current observing system assessment using OSSEs

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 2:30 PM
B306 (GWCC)
Matthieu Le Henaff, RSMAS, Miami, FL; and V. H. Kourafalou, A. Srinivasan, and R. Atlas

The Loop Current is connecting water masses from the Yucatan to the Florida straits, with northern extensions that may allow interaction with the Mississippi river outflow. It sheds anticyclonic eddies that encompass warm waters for months during their drift towards the western part of the Gulf of Mexico. A long term, high resolution, atmospheric forced ocean model simulation has been set up to study the connectivity associated to the Loop Current and its eddy shedding, with a focus on the role played by sub-mesoscale cyclonic eddies surrounding the current extension.

Ensemble studies inform us about the sensitivity of the Loop Current representation to forcing fields and/or initial conditions. Results from these ensemble studies will be used to design Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) to test the impact of proposed observing networks on reducing model uncertainties associated with the Loop Current and ocean eddies, and also to evaluate the performance of multiple data assimilation schemes.