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Authors: Pujol, M.-I.* 
Dobricic, S.* 
Pinardi, N.* 
Adani, M.* 
Title: Impact of Multialtimeter Sea Level Assimilation in the Mediterranean Forecasting Model
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: /27 (2010)
DOI: 10.1175/2010JTECHO715.1
Keywords: Data assimilation
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.04. Ocean data assimilation and reanalysis 
Abstract: In this article the impact of multisatellite altimeter observations assimilation in a high-resolution Mediterranean model are analyzed. Four different altimeter missions [Jason-1, Envisat, Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon interleaved and Geosat Follow-On] are used over a 7-month period (from September 2004 to 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. Second, 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’s data bring a 12% reduction of the root-mean-square of the differences between the analyses and observations for the sea level anomaly (SLA). The third and fourth satellites also improve the rms, with a more than 3% reduction for each of them. Finally, it is shown that Envisat and Geosat Follow-On additions to Jason-1 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 multimission satellite observing system. This result could support the concept of multimission altimetric monitoring done by complementary horizontal resolution satellite orbits.
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