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Authors: Pujol, M. I* 
Dobricic, S.* 
Pinardi, N.* 
Adani, M.* 
Title: Impact of Multi-altimeter Sea Level Assimilation in the Mediterranean Forecasting Model
Issue Date: 2009
Keywords: Sea Level Assimilation
Forecasting Model
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.05. Operational oceanography 
Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of multi-satellite altimeter observations assimilation in a high-resolution Mediterranean model. Four different altimeter missions (Jason-1, Envisat, Topex/Poseidon interleaved and Geosat Follow-On) are used over a 7-month period [September 2004, March 2005] to study the impact of the assimilation of one to four satellites on the analyses quality. The study highlights three important results. First, it shows the positive impact of the altimeter data on the analyses. The corrected fields capture missing structures of the circulation and eddies are modified in shape, position and intensity with respect to the model simulation. Secondly, the study demonstrates the improvement in the analyses induced by each satellite. The impact of the addition of a second satellite is almost equivalent to the improvement given by the introduction of the first satellite: the second satellite data brings a 12% reduction of the root mean square of the differences between analyses and observations for the Sea Level Anomaly (SLA). The third and fourth satellite also significantly improve the rms, with more than 3% reduction for each of them. Finally, it is shown that Envisat and Geosat Follow-On additions to J1 impact the analyses more than the addition of Topex/Poseidon suggesting that the across track spatial resolution is still one of the important aspects of a multi-mission satellite observing system. This result could support the concept of multi-mission altimetric monitoring done by complementary horizontal resolution satellite orbits.
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