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Integration of Altimetry and GOCE geoid for Ocean Modeling: Results from the GOCINA project

Per Knudsen(1) and the GOCINA Team(1)

(1) Danish National Space Center, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark


One of the major goals of the recently completed EU project GOCINA (Geoid and Ocean Circulation In the North Atlantic) was to determine the following three quantities; an accurate mean dynamic topography model, an accurate mean sea surface and an accurate geoid for the GOCINA region between Greenland and the UK and to use the common relationship between the three quantities for mutual improvement. The improved determination of the mean circulation will advance the understanding of the role of the ocean mass and heat transport in climate change. To calculate the best possible synthetic mean dynamic topographies a new mean sea surface (KMS04) has been derived from nine years of altimetric data (1993-2001). The regional geoid has furthermore being updated using GRACE and gravimetric data from a recent airborne survey. Subsequently, an integrated approach has been used to compute MDTs from joint inversions of data from the various sources. Then the optimally estimated MDT was used for the assimilation of altimetry into the FOAM, MERCATOR, and the TOPAZ model systems. The results demonstrated that the use of the improved MDT improved the modeling of the transports and increased the agreement with observations. The modeling of the heat transport through the straits was changed accordingly, showing the importance of including proper MDTs in climate predictions. Hence, the potential of GOCE to improve future global ocean and climate modeling is evident.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry