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Wave spectra assimilation in typhoon wave modeling for the East China Sea

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  • Gc Oceanography
  • Ge Environmental Sciences


The East China Sea is a hot area for typhoon waves to occur. A wave spectra assimilation model has been developed to predict the typhoon wave more accurately and operationally. This is the first time where wave data from Taiwan have been used to predict typhoon wave along the mainland China coast. The two-dimensional spectra observed in Taiwan northeast coast modify the wave field output by SWAN model through the technology of optimal interpolation (OI) scheme. The wind field correction is not involved as it contributes less than a quarter of the correction achieved by assimilation of waves. The initialization issue for assimilation is discussed. A linear evolution law for noise in the wave field is derived from the SWAN governing equations. A two-dimensional digital low-pass filter is used to obtain the initialized wave fields. The data assimilation model is optimized during the typhoon Sinlaku. During typhoons Krosa and Morakot, data assimilation significantly improves the low frequency wave energy and wave propagation direction in Taiwan coast. For the far-field region, the assimilation model shows an expected ability of improving typhoon wave forecast as well, as data assimilation enhances the low frequency wave energy. The proportion of positive assimilation indexes is over 81% for all the periods of comparison. The paper also finds that the impact of data assimilation on the far-field region depends on the state of the typhoon developing and the swell propagation direction.

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