20 January 2014 Pre-assimilation studies at the Met Office
Met Office researchers are working to understand various sources of salinity data (satellite and in situ) and performing the inter-comparisons necessary to prepare for assimilation of new data sources in ocean models.
The figure shows various estimates of the near-surface ocean salinity in the Gulf Stream region of the North Atlantic. The Argo data provide accurate salinity measurements with relatively sparse coverage; the two satellite instruments, SMOS and Aquarius, provide information with good spatial coverage but with less accuracy; the FOAM model provides good coverage at fairly high resolution and is able to provide forecasts. The various estimates provide useful information about the location of the high-resolution features of the Gulf Stream. The inter-comparison of all these data types in specific regions such as the Gulf Stream is the first step in understanding how the data might all be combined in a data assimilation scheme.