Assessing the impact of various wind forcing on INCOIS-GODAS simulated ocean currents in the equatorial Indian Ocean
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The Global Ocean Data Assimilation System configured at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS-GODAS) has been forced with satellite-based QuikSCAT gridded winds (QSCAT) to obtain accurate operational ocean analysis, particularly ocean currents, as compared to the default National Centers for Environmental Prediction-Reanalysis 2 (NCEP-R2) wind forcing in the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO). However, after termination of QuikSCAT mission in November 2009, an alternate wind forcing was required for providing operational ocean analysis. The present study examines the suitability of an Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT)-based daily gridded wind product (DASCAT) for the INCOIS-GODAS. Experiments were performed by forcing INCOIS-GODAS with three different momentum fluxes derived from QSCAT, DASCAT, and NCEP-R2 wind products. Simulated ocean currents from these experiments are validated with respect to in situ current measurements from Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) buoys. Results suggested that the quality of simulated ocean currents from the daily DASCAT forcing is on par with the QSCAT forcing in the TIO, except for the equatorial Indian Ocean (EIO). Although QSCAT-forced current simulations are slightly better than DASCAT-forced simulations, both QSCAT and DASCAT provide a much better result than NCEP-R2. Our analysis shows that the better simulations of currents over the EIO, with the QSCAT forcing compared to DASCAT forcing, can be attributed to the smoothening of the wind field in the DASCAT compared to QSCAT. The impact of the error in the DASCAT on ocean current analysis is, however, limited to local scales and upper 100 m of water column only. Thus, our study demonstrated that, in the absence of QSCAT, DASCAT is a better alternative for INCOIS-GODAS ocean analysis than the NCEP-R2.
KeywordsWind evaluation ASCAT Ocean models INCOIS-GODAS Wind error impact Equatorial Indian Ocean
The encouragement and facilities provided by the Director, INCOIS, are gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank Dr. Suprith Kumar, INCOIS, and Dr. Uday Bhaskar, INCOIS, for their valuable suggestions towards improving this manuscript. We thank IFREMER for providing DASCAT wind fields through Asia-Pacific Data-Research Center website. QuikSCAT data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems (www.ssmi.com) and sponsored by the NASA Ocean Vector Winds Science Team (www.remss.com). The model experiments are designed and ran on INCOIS-High Performance Computing (HPC) machine. We thank INCOIS-HPC team for their technical support. Graphics are generated using Ferret. We gratefully acknowledge the support provided by Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, to conduct this research. This is INCOIS contribution No. 228.
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