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Recovery of North-East Atlantic temperature fields from profiling floats: Determination of the optimal float number from sampling and instrumental error analysis

AutorRuiz, Simón ; Gomis, Damià ; Font, Jordi
Palabras claveProfiling floats
Objective analysis
Error analysis
North Atlantic Ocean
Fecha de publicaciónmar-2007
CitaciónJournal of Marine Systems 65(1-4): 212-223 (2007)
ResumenArgo is an international project that is deploying an array of temperature and salinity profiling floats over the global ocean. Here we use the error formulation derived from Optimal Statistical Interpolation to estimate statistical errors associated with the recovery of the temperature field in the North-East Atlantic ocean. Results indicate that with the present distribution of floats (119 in the considered domain), scales of wavelength larger than 500 km can be recovered with a relative uncertainty (rms error relative to the standard deviation of the field) of about 7% at 50 m, 8% at 200 m and 10% at 1000 m. This corresponds to mean absolute errors of 0.111°C at 50 m, 0.104°C at 200 m and 0.073°C at 1000 m.
The splitting of total errors into instrumental and sampling contributions reveals that, in the present scenario, errors are more due to the small number of floats than to instrumental errors, especially at upper levels. For scales larger than 500 km this will hold true until 200–250 floats are deployed (less than 200 for deep levels). In such a simulated scenario, the number of observations and the technology become approximately equally limiting factors for the accuracy of the temperature field mapping, with total relative errors of less than 2% at upper levels and about 3% at 1000 m.
Descripción12 pages, 4 figures, 1 table.-- Available online Oct 12, 2006.-- Issue title: "Marine Environmental Monitoring and Prediction - Selected papers from the 36th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics" (May 3-7, 2004).-- Full-text version available Open Access at: http://www.icm.csic.es/files/oce/almacen/papers/AR-2007-04.pdf
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2005.04.012
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