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Lagrangian analysis of satellite-derived currents: Application to the North Western Mediterranean coastal dynamics

AuthorsBouffard, Jérôme ; Nencioli, Francesco; Escudier, Romain ; Doglioli, Andrea M.; Petrenko, Anne; Pascual, Ananda ; Poulain, Pierre-Marie; Elhmaidi, Dalila
KeywordsSatellite altimetry
Mean dynamic topography
Coastal dynamics
Issue Date2014
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationAdvances in Space Research 53(5): 788-801 (2014)
AbstractOptimal interpolation methods for improving the reconstruction of coastal dynamics from along-track satellite altimetry measurements have been recently developed over the North Western Mediterranean Sea. Maps of satellite-derived geostrophic current anomalies are generated using these methods, and added to different mean circulation fields in order to obtained absolute geostrophic currents. The resulting fields are then compared to standard AVISO products, and their accuracies are assessed with Lagrangian diagnostics. The trajectories of virtual particle clusters are simulated with a Lagrangian code either with new current fields or with the AVISO ones. The simulated trajectories are then compared to 16 in situ drifter trajectories to evaluate the performance of the different velocity fields. The comparisons show that the new current fields lead to better results than the AVISO one, especially over the shallow continental shelf of the Gulf of Lion. However, despite the use of innovative strategies, some altimetry limitations still persist in the coastal domain, where small scale processes remain sub-sampled by conventional altimetry coverage but will benefit from technological development in the near future. Some of the limitations of the Lagrangian diagnostics presently used are also analyzed, but dedicated studies will be required for future further investigations. © 2014 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.asr.2013.12.020
issn: 0273-1177
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