|Monitoring of the Northern Current in the Gulf of Lions with an observing system simulation experiment |
(Article) Publié: Scientia Marina, vol. 76 p.441-453 (2012)
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The coastal circulation in the Gulf of Lions (GoL) is influenced by the Northern Current (NC), forced by a complex wind system and also affected by important river discharges from the Rhône River. Correct modelling of this current is therefore important for obtaining a good representation of the gulf circulation. An observing system simulation experiment using the SEEK filter data assimilation method was used in a regional 1/16° configuration of the GoL in the NEMO model. The synthetic observation database used for the experiment comprised altimetric data in addition to in- situ temperature and salinity profiles. Statistical diagnostics and other physical criteria based on the improvement of NC representation were set up in order to assess the quality of this experiment. Comparisons between the free 1/16° simulation and the experience with assimilation show that data assimilation significantly improved the description of the characteristics of the NC as well as its seasonal and mesoscale variability, which in turn improved the description of the water exchanges between the coastal region and the open sea.