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Authors: Taillandier, V.* 
Dobricic, S.* 
Testor, P.* 
Pinardi, N.* 
Griffa, A.* 
Mortier, L.* 
Gasparini, G. P.* 
Title: Integration of ARGO trajectories in the Mediterranean Forecasting System and impact on the regional analysis of the Western Mediterranean circulation
Issue Date: 19-Dec-2008
Keywords: ARGO trajectories
Western Mediterranean circulation
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.05. Operational oceanography 
Abstract: The impact of ARGO trajectory assimilation on the quality of ocean analyses is studied by means of an operational oceanographic model implemented in the Mediterranean Sea and a 3D-var assimilation scheme. For the first time, both ARGO trajectories and vertical profiles together with satellite data are assimilated to produce analyses for short term forecasts. The study period covers three months during winter 2005 when four ARGO trajectories were present in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. It is shown that their integration is consistent with the other components of the assimilation system, and it contributes to refine the model error structure with new information on horizontal pressure gradients. So the analysis benefits of a more accurate description of the boundary currents and their instabilities that drive the mesoscale activity of regional circulations. As a consequence, the trajectory assimilation remotely and significantly influences the basin scale circulation. Changes can be depicted by intermediate water mass redistributions, mesoscale eddy relocations or net transports modulations. These impacts are detailed and assessed considering historical and contemporary datasets. The obtained qualitative and quantitative agreements motivate the integration of ARGO trajectories in the operational Mediterranean Forecasting System.
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