Targeted observation analysis of a Northwestern Tropical Pacific Ocean mooring array using an ensemble-based method
An important supplement for ocean observing systems, the Northwestern Tropical Pacific Ocean (NWTPO) mooring array including 15 moorings equipped with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) devices was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and deployed in 2013. This study assessed the performance of this mooring array in monitoring the intra-seasonal and low-frequency (above 91 days) variability of oceanic currents by conducting targeted observation analyses using an ensemble-based method. Key regions for monitoring intra-seasonal variability of the NWTPO circulation are the equator, Indonesian throughflow (ITF), headstream of the North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC), and Subtropical Countercurrent (STCC). For monitoring intra-seasonal variability, the range of each mooring is confined to a local scale. Therefore, NWTPO moorings cannot adequately resolve intra-seasonal variability in areas of the ITF, the headstream of the NECC, and STCC due to location constraints of the moorings. For monitoring low-frequency variability of NWTPO circulation, the key regions are the Western Boundary Current (WBC), NECC, and the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC). NWTPO moorings performed relatively well in monitoring the low-frequency variability, as indicated by the strong background correlations between each of the currents. The NWTPO mooring array plays an important role in monitoring the location and intensity of background currents. Because moorings are costly and require a high-density distribution for optimal performance, understanding the multi-timescale dynamical nature of the NWTPO current system is critical for the deploying future moorings in this region.
KeywordsTargeted observation analysis Data assimilation Mooring array
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFC1401702 and 2016YFC1401705), the “Strategic Priority Research Program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA10010405), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41521005 and 41506022), and was carried out at National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, and the calculations were performed on TianHe-1 (A).
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