Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR). Grant Number: 17-CE01-0006-01 National Science Foundation (NSF). Grant Number: 1851166
Geophysical Research Letters
Submarine topography, Surface waves (Water), Oceanography
The surface kinetic energy of a 1/48◦ global ocean simulation and its distribution as a function of frequency and location are compared with the one estimated from 15,329 globally distributed surface drifter observations at hourly resolution. These distributions follow similar patterns with a dominant low-frequency component and well-defined tidal and near-inertial peaks globally. Quantitative differences are identified with deficits of low-frequency energy near the equator (factor 2) and at near-inertial frequencies (factor 3) and an excess of energy at semidiurnal frequencies (factor 4) for the model. Owing to its hourly resolution and its near-global spatial coverage, the array of surface drifters is an invaluable tool to evaluate the realism of tide-resolving high-resolution ocean simulations used in observing system simulation experiments. Sources of bias between model and drifter data are discussed, and associated leads for future work highlighted.
Locate the Document
Yu, X., Ponte, A. L., Elipot, S., Menemenlis, D., Zaron, E. D., & Abernathey, R. (2019). Surface kinetic energy distributions in the global oceans from a high‐resolution numerical model and surface drifter observations. Geophysical Research Letters.