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Title: Tracer and observationally derived constraints on diapycnal diffusivities in an ocean state estimate
Abstract. Use of an ocean parameter and state estimation framework – such as the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) framework – could provide an opportunity to learn about the spatial distribution of the diapycnal diffusivity parameter (κρ) that observations alone cannot due to gaps in coverage. However, we show that the inclusion of misfits to observed physical variables – such as in situ temperature, salinity, and pressure – currently accounted for in ECCO is not sufficient, as κρ from ECCO does not agree closely with any observationally derived product. These observationally derived κρ products were inferred from microstructure measurements, derived from Argo and conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) data using a strain-based parameterization of fine-scale hydrographic structure, or calculated from climatological and seafloor data using a parameterization of tidal mixing. The κρ products are in close agreement with one another but have both measurement and structural uncertainties, whereas tracers can have relatively small measurement uncertainties. With the ultimate goal being to jointly improve the ECCO state estimate and representation of κρ in ECCO, we investigate whether adjustments in κρ due to inclusion of misfits to a tracer – dissolved oxygen concentrations from an annual climatology – would be similar more » to those due to inclusion of misfits to observationally derived κρ products. We do this by performing sensitivity analyses with ECCO. We compare multiple adjoint sensitivity calculations: one configuration uses misfits to observationally derived κρ, and the other uses misfits to observed dissolved oxygen concentrations. We show that adjoint sensitivities of dissolved oxygen concentration misfits to the state estimate's control space typically direct κρ to improve relative to the observationally derived values. These results suggest that the inclusion of oxygen in ECCO's misfits will improve κρ in ECCO, particularly in (sub)tropical regions. « less
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Award ID(s):
1936222 1923558
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Ocean Science
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
729 to 759
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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