Exploring 3D velocity field reconstructions using the SWOT simulator and a submesoscale-resolving OGCM

Bo Qiu (University of Hawaii, United States)


Shuiming Chen (University of Hawaii, USA); Patrice Klein (IFREMER, France); Clement Ubelmann (NASA/JPL, USA)

Event: 2015 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science II: Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale ocean processes: current understanding and preparation for SWOT

Presentation type: Type Oral

Utilizing the theoretical framework of effective surface quasi-geostrophic (eSQG) dynamics, we explored the potential of reconstruting the 3D upper ocean circulation features, including vertical velocity (w), from high-resolution sea surface height data expected from the planned SWOT mission. Specifically, we used the 1/30-deg, submesoscale-resolving, OFES simulation as the SSH input and subjected it through the SWOT simulator that has irregular SWOT sampling swaths and expected measurement errors. By focusing on the Kuroshio Extension region, we found the eSQG dynamics is an effective formulation to retrieve the 3D velocity field. For the simulation output itself, the eSQG-reconstructed relative vorticity and w are able to reach an overall correlation of 0.8 and 0.7, respectively in the 1000m upper ocean when compared to the original model output. With the irregular sampling and measurements errors, these correlation values drop to 0.7 and 0.5 that show, nevertheless, promising reconstructability.

Oral presentation show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Grand Ballroom 2 Wed, Oct 21 2015,14:15 Wed, Oct 21 2015,14:30
Bo Qiu
University of Hawaii
United States