Kvaleberg, E. (2004).
Generation of Cold Core Filaments and Eddies Through Baroclinic Instability on a Continental Shelf. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: The formation of cold core filaments on an idealized continental shelf is investigated using a numerical model to simulate the ocean's response to surface cooling. A horizontal density gradient forms because of uneven buoyancy loss due to the sloping bottom, and this gradient induces an alongshelf current in thermal wind balance, that in time becomes unstable. As the instabilities grow, filaments, and later eddies, are generated so that dense water near the coast is mixed offshore. Scaling arguments of the filament wavelength indicate that the current is baroclinically unstable, and an analytical model of the frontal expansion with time is in very good agreement with the simulations. This study was inspired by satellite observations of sea surface temperature on the West Florida Shelf during the winter months, in which it is clearly seen that cold core filaments extend from a thermal front. Numerical experiments are therefore designed to allow for reliable comparisons with conditions in this region.
Michael, J. - P. (2010).
ENSO Fidelity in Two Coupled Models. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: This study examines the fidelity of the ENSO simulation in two coupled model integrations and compares this with available global ocean data assimilation. The two models are CAM-HYCOM coupled model developed by the HYCOM Consortium and CCSM3.0. The difference between the two climate models is in the use of different ocean general circulation model (OGCM). The hybrid isopycnal-sigma-pressure coordinate ocean model Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) replaces the ocean model Parallel Ocean Program (POP) of the CCSM3.0. In both, the atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) is used. In this way the coupled systems are compared in a controlled setting so that the effects of the OGCM may be obtained. Henceforth the two models will be referred to as CAM-HYCOM and CAM-POP respectively. Comparison of 200 years of model output is used discarding the first 100 years to account for spin-up issues. Both models (CAM-HYCOM and CAM-POP) are compared to observational data for duration, intensity, and global impacts of ENSO. Based on the analysis of equatorial SST, thermocline depth, wind stress and precipitation, ENSO in the CAM-HYCOM model is weaker and farther east than observations while CAM-POP is zonal and extends west of the international dateline. CAM-POP also has an erroneous biennial cycle of the equatorial pacific SSTs. The analysis of the subsurface ocean advective terms highlights the problems of the model simulations.
Samuelsen, A. (2005).
Modeling the Effect of Eddies and Advection on the Lower Trophic Ecosystem in the Northeast Tropical Pacific. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: A medium complexity, nitrogen-based ecosystem model is developed in order to simulate the ecosystem in the northeast tropical Pacific. Several physical processes have major impact on the ecosystem in this region, most importantly intense wind jets along the coast and upwelling at the Costa Rica Dome (CRD). The ecosystem model is run “offline”, using a realistic physical ocean model hindcast as input. The physical model is a subdomain of the global Navy Coastal Ocean Model, which is a hybrid sigma-z level model. The model assimilates Modular Ocean Data Assimilation System temperature and salinity profiles derived from altimetry and sea surface temperature data. The model is forced by daily heat and momentum fluxes, and therefore captures short-term wind events such as the Tehuantepec jet. Because the model has high horizontal resolution (~1/8 degree) and assimilates sea surface height data, it has a realistic representation of eddies and mesoscale variability. The ecosystem model includes two nutrients (nitrate and ammonium), two size-classes of phytoplankton, two size-classes of zooplankton, and detritus. The model is run for 4 years from 1999 to 2002, with analyses focused on 2000-2002. The model is validated using SeaWiFS data and ship-based observations from the STAR-cruises (Stenella Abundance Research Project) of 1999 and 2000. The northernmost and most intense of the wind jets along Central America is the Tehuantepec jet. The Tehuantepec jet is responsible for upwelling large amounts of nutrient rich water south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The jet also occasionally produce large anti-cyclonic eddies that transport organic matter away from the coast. Because organic matter that is transported into the open ocean will eventually sink to the deep ocean, this has implications for the carbon export in this region. The model results are used to calculate cross-shelf fluxes in this region in order to estimate how much organic material is transported across the shelf break. Results show that at the Gulf of Tehuantepec there is high offshore export of organic material, particularly during eddy generation events, but also in fall. The highest export is on the order of 10 Mg C per meter of coastline per day and happens during eddy events. During these events there is a comparable onshore flux to the south of the gulf. Typically there is onshore flux to the south of the gulf during the summer. The model estimated transport away from the coast at the Gulf of Tehuantepec is 167 Tg C/year, and the onshore transport to the south of the gulf is 704 Tg C/year. The second subject of interest is the CRD. In this region, upwelling at the surface is caused by Ekman upwelling during the summer, although the dome is thought to be present at depth throughout the year. The doming of the isotherms below the thermocline is a result of vortex stretching and is decoupled from the wind-driven processes at the surface. A mass-balance budget is calculated at the CRD, and the horizontal and vertical fluxes are related to the abundance of plankton at the dome. There is upwelling (7.2X10-2 Sv ) at the dome throughout the year, but around the location of the dome (90° W), the upwelling is largest in the winter. Further west, input of nutrients from below is larger in the fall and summer. The results suggest that about 80% of the nitrate that is supplied to the dome during summer is actually brought up to the west of the dome and transported eastward by the North Equatorial Counter Current.
Petraitis, D. C. (2006).
Long-Term ENSO-Related Winter Rainfall Predictions over the Southeast U.S. Using the FSU Global Spectral Model. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: Rainfall patterns over the Southeast U.S. have been found to be connected to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Warm ENSO events cause positive precipitation anomalies and cold ENSO events cause negative precipitation anomalies. With this level of connection, models can be used to test the predictability of ENSO events. Using the Florida State University Global Spectral Model (FSUGSM), model data over a 50-year period will be evaluated for its similarity to observations. The FSUGSM is a global spectral model with a T63 horizontal resolution (approximately 1.875°) and 17 unevenly spaced vertical levels. Details of this model can be found in Cocke and LaRow (2000). The experiment utilizes two runs using the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) RAS convection scheme and two runs using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) SAS convection scheme to comprise the ensemble. The simulation was done for 50 years, from 1950 to 1999. Reynolds and Smith monthly mean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from 1950-1999 provide the lower boundary condition. Atmospheric and land conditions from January 1, 1987 and January 1, 1995 were used as the initial starting conditions. The observational precipitation data being used as the basis for comparison is a gridded global dataset from Willmott and Matsuura (2005). Phase precipitation differences show higher precipitation amounts for El Niño than La Niña in all model runs. Temporal correlations between model runs and the observations show southern and eastern areas with the highest correlation values during an ENSO event. Skill scores validate the findings of the model/observation correlations, with southern and eastern areas showing scores close to zero. Temporal correlations between tropical Pacific SSTs and Southeast precipitation further confirm the model's ability to predict ENSO precipitation patterns over the Southeast U.S. The inconsistency in the SST/precipitation correlations between the models can be attributed to differences in the 200-mb jet stream and 500-mb height anomalies. Slight differences in position and strength for both variables affect the teleconnection between tropical Pacific SSTs and Southeast.
Winterbottom, H. (2010).
The Development of a High-Resolution Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Model and Applications Toward Understanding the Limiting Factors for Tropical Cyclone Intensity Prediction. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: The prediction of tropical cyclone (TC) motion has improved greatly in recent decades. However, similar trends remain absent with respect to TC intensity prediction. Several hypotheses have been proposed attempting to explain why dynamical NWP models struggle to predict TC intensity. The leading candidates are as follows: (1) the lack of an evolving ocean (i.e., sea-surface temperature) boundary condition which responds as a function of the atmosphere (e.g., TC) forcing, (2) inappropriate initial conditions for the TC vortex (e.g., lack of data assimilation methods), (3) NWP model grid-length resolutions which are unable to resolve the temporal and length scale for the features believed responsible for TC vortex intensity. modulations (i.e., eye-wall dynamics, momentum transport, vortex Rossby wave interactions, etc.), and (4) physical parametrization which do not adequately represent the air-sea interactions observed during TC passage. In this study, a coupling algorithm for two independent, high-resolution, and state-of-the-art atmosphere and ocean models is developed. The atmosphere model -- the Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model is coupled to the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) using a (UNIX) platform independent and innovative coupling methodology. Further, within the WRF-ARW framework, a dynamic initialization algorithm is developed to specify the TC vortex initial condition while preserving the synoptic-scale environment. Each of the tools developed in this study is implemented for a selected case-study: TC Bertha (2008) and TC Gustav (2008) for the coupled-model and TC vortex initialization, respectively. The experiment results suggest that the successful prediction (with respect to the observations) for both the ocean response and the TC intensity cannot be achieved by simply incorporating (i.e., coupling) an ocean model and/or by improving the initial structure for the TC. Rather the physical parametrization governing the air-sea interactions is suggested as the one of the weaknesses for the NWP model. This hypothesis is (indirectly) supported through a diagnostic evaluation of the synoptic-scale features (e.g., sea-level pressure and the deep-layer mean wind beyond the influence of the TC) while the assimilated TC vortex is nudged toward the observed intensity value. It is found -- in the case of TC Gustav (2008) using WRF-ARW, that as the assimilated TC vortex intensity approaches that of the observed, the balance between the mass and momentum states for WRF-ARW is compromised leading to unrealistic features for the environmental sea-level pressure and deep-layer (800- to 200-hPa) mean wind surrounding the TC. Forcing WRF-ARW to assimilate a TC vortex of the observed maximum wind-speed intensity may ultimately compromise the prediction for the TC's motion and subsequently mitigate any gains for the corresponding intensity prediction.Suggestions for additions to the coupled atmosphere-ocean model include a wave-model (WAVEWATCH3), the assimilation of troposphere thermodynamic observations, and modifications to the existing atmospheric boundary-layer parametrization. The current suite of atmosphere model parametrizations do not accurately simulate the observed azimuthal and radial variations for the exchange coefficients (e.g., drag and enthalpy) that have been indicated as potentialpredictor variables for TC intensity modulation. However, these modifications should be implemented only after the limitations for the current coupled-model and TC vortex initialization methods are fully evaluated.
Yu, P. (2006).
Development of New Techniques for Assimilating Satellite Altimetry Data into Ocean Models. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: State of the art fully three-dimensional ocean models are very computationally expensive and their adjoints are even more resource intensive. However, many features of interest are approximated by the first baroclinic mode over much of the ocean, especially in the lower and mid latitude regions. Based on this dynamical feature, a new type of data assimilation scheme to assimilate sea surface height (SSH) data, a reduced-space adjoint technique, is developed and implemented with a three-dimensional model using vertical normal mode decomposition. The technique is tested with the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) configured to simulate the Gulf of Mexico. The assimilation procedure works by minimizing the cost function, which generalizes the misfit between the observations and their counterpart model variables. The “forward” model is integrated for the period during which the data are assimilated. Vertical normal mode decomposition retrieves the first baroclinic mode, and the data misfit between the model outputs and observations is calculated. Adjoint equations based on a one-active-layer reduced gravity model, which approximates the first baroclinic mode, are integrated backward in time to get the gradient of the cost function with respect to the control variables (velocity and SSH of the first baroclinic mode). The gradient is input to an optimization algorithm (the limited memory Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno (BFGS) method is used for the cases presented here) to determine the new first baroclinic mode velocity and SSH fields, which are used to update the forward model variables at the initial time. Two main issues in the area of ocean data assimilation are addressed: 1. How can information provided only at the sea surface be transferred dynamically into deep layers? 2. How can information provided only locally, in limited oceanic regions, be horizontally transferred to ocean areas far away from the data-dense regions, but dynamically connected to it? The first problem is solved by the use of vertical normal mode decomposition, through which the vertical dependence of model variables is obtained. Analyses show that the first baroclinic mode SSH represents the full SSH field very closely in the model test domain, with a correlation of 93% in one of the experiments. One common way to solve the second issue is to lengthen the assimilation window in order to allow the dynamic model to propagate information to the data-sparse regions. However, this dramatically increases the computational cost, since many oceanic features move very slowly. An alternative solution to this is developed using a mapping method based on complex empirical orthogonal functions (EOF), which utilizes data from a much longer period than the assimilation cycle and deals with the information in space and time simultaneously. This method is applied to map satellite altimeter data from the ground track observation locations and times onto a regular spatial and temporal grid. Three different experiments are designed for testing the assimilation technique: two experiments assimilate SSH data produced from a model run to evaluate the method, and in the last experiment the technique is applied to TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 altimeter data. The assimilation procedure converges in all experiments and reduces the error in the model fields. Since the adjoint, or “backward”, model is two-dimensional, the method is much more computationally efficient than if it were to use a fully three-dimensional backward model.
Engelman, M. B. (2008).
A Validation of the FSU/COAPS Climate Model. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: This study examines the predictability of the Florida State University/Center for Oceanic and Atmospheric Prediction Studies (FSU/COAPS) climate model, and is motivated by the model's potential use in crop modeling. The study also compares real-time ensemble runs (created using persisted SST anomalies) to hindcast ensemble runs (created using weekly updated SST) to asses the effect of SST anomalies on forecast error. Wintertime (DJF, 2 month lead time) surface temperature and precipitation forecasts over the southeastern United States (Georgia, Alabama, and Florida) are evaluated because of the documented links between tropical Pacific SST anomalies and climate in the southeastern United States during the winter season. The global spectral model (GSM) runs at a T63 resolution and then is dynamically downscaled to a 20 x 20 km grid over the southeastern United States using the FSU regional spectral model (RSM). Seasonal, monthly, and daily events from the October 2004 and 2005 model runs are assessed. Seasonal (DJF) plots of real-time forecasts indicate the model is capable of predicting wintertime maximum and minimum temperatures over the southeastern United States. The October 2004 and 2005 real-time model runs both produce temperature forecasts with anomaly errors below 3°C, correlations close to one, and standard deviations similar to observations. Real-time precipitation forecasts are inconsistent. Error in the percent of normal precipitation vary from greater than 100% in the 2004/2005 forecasts to less than 35% error in the 2005/2006 forecasts. Comparing hindcast runs to real-time runs reveals some skill is lost in precipitation forecasts when using a method of SST anomaly persistence if the SST anomalies in the equatorial Pacific change early in the forecast period, as they did for the October 2004 model runs. Further analysis involving monthly and daily model data as well as Brier scores (BS), relative operating characteristics (ROC), and equitable threat scores (ETS), are also examined to confirm these results.
Todd, A. C., Morey, S. L., & Chassignet, E. P. (2014). Circulation and cross-shelf transport in the Florida Big Bend.
J Mar Res, 72(6), 445–475.
Buijsman, M. C., Arbic, B. K., Richman, J. G., Shriver, J. F., Wallcraft, A. J., & Zamudio, L. (2017). Semidiurnal internal tide incoherence in the equatorial Pacific.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 12(7), 5286–5305.
Hiester, H. R., Morey, S. L., Dukhovskoy, D. S., Chassignet, E. P., Kourafalou, V. H., & Hu, C. (2016). A topological approach for quantitative comparisons of ocean model fields to satellite ocean color data.
Methods in Oceanography, 17, 232–250.