COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: A MODEL-BASED SYNTHESIS OF MID ATLANTIC BIGHT PIONEER ARRAY DATA TO INFER ACROSS-SHELF FLUXES, FRONTAL VARIABILITY, AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ARRAY

Project Details

Description

In support of the National Science Foundation Ocean Observatories Initiative, the objective of the proposed research is to provide a synthesis of all existing and future observations collected by the Pioneer Array in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Observation impact and observation sensitivity calculations will be used to evaluate the observing array. Until now, this has been largely the domain of numerical weather prediction. The proposed research will yield a sequence of high quality circulation analyses for the Mid-Atlantic Bight that will shed new light on the relative role of instability, eddy fluxes and surface forcing in promoting cross-shelf exchange and in shaping the circulation of the region. The resulting circulation analyses will be made available on a web server at Rutgers University and will represent a valuable community resource. Model configurations from this project will be used to frame lectures for international summer schools addressing advanced methods in applied coastal ocean modeling and data assimilation to senior graduate students and early career scientists. The project will also train a graduate student.The specific goals of the project are to: (i) compute retroactive and near real-time analyses of the ocean circulation in the domain spanned by the Pioneer Array using a state-of-the-art ocean model and data assimilation system; (ii) explore the dynamics of shelf exchange processes; and (iii) evaluate the Pioneer Array design using dynamically motivated metrics of the shelf circulation. The Pioneer Array observations will be synthesized using a multi-scale configuration of the Regional Ocean Modeling System and a 4-dimensional variational data assimilation system. Being directly constrained by the observations, the resulting 3-dimensional time-evolving circulation estimates will be more reliable than either the model or the observations considered in isolation. The circulation estimates are expected to span the period 2015-2018 and will provide a valuable and seamless multi-year and multi-scale ocean data set that will be used to explore the dynamics of shelf-break processes in the region including seasonal variability in cross-shelf fluxes associated with stratification, eddy fluxes, the formation of boundary layers, and the occurrence of episodic exchange events across the shelf-break. The ability of the moored and mobile components of the Pioneer Array to address specific science questions will be evaluated using a suite of sophisticated analysis tools that quantify the impact of individual observations and assets on specific circulation metrics that target the aforementioned physical processes. The complimentary suite of tools used will include observation impact and observation sensitivity calculations, identification of the array modes, and observing system simulation experiments
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date3/1/152/28/18

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

Fingerprint Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.