Computational Geosciences

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 393–410 | Cite as

Downscaling the 2D Bénard convection equations using continuous data assimilation

  • M. U. Altaf
  • E. S. Titi
  • T. Gebrael
  • O. M. Knio
  • L. Zhao
  • M. F. McCabe
  • I. HoteitEmail author
Original Paper


We consider a recently introduced continuous data assimilation (CDA) approach for downscaling a coarse resolution configuration of the 2D Bénard convection equations into a finer grid. In this CDA, a nudging term, estimated as the misfit between some interpolants of the assimilated coarse-grid measurements and the fine-grid model solution, is added to the model equations to constrain the model. The main contribution of this study is a performance analysis of CDA for downscaling measurements of temperature and velocity. These measurements are assimilated either separately or simultaneously, and the results are compared against those resulting from the standard point-to-point nudging approach (NA). Our numerical results suggest that the CDA solution outperforms that of NA, always converging to the true solution when the velocity is assimilated as has been theoretically proven. Assimilation of temperature measurements only may not always recover the true state as demonstrated in the case study. Various runs are conducted to evaluate the sensitivity of CDA to noise in the measurements, the size, and the time frequency of the measured grid, suggesting a more robust behavior of CDA compared to that of NA.


Continuous data assimilation Bénard convection equations Dynamical downscaling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. U. Altaf
    • 1
  • E. S. Titi
    • 2
  • T. Gebrael
    • 3
  • O. M. Knio
    • 1
  • L. Zhao
    • 4
  • M. F. McCabe
    • 1
  • I. Hoteit
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.King Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.American University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  4. 4.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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