Affordable Access

Forecast assessment in the mediterranean sea : A structure oriented approach

Publication Date
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Mathematical & Earth Sciences :: Earth Sciences & Physical Geography [G02]
  • Physique
  • Chimie
  • Mathématiques & Sciences De La Terre :: Sciences De La Terre & Géographie Physique [G02]
  • Earth Science


The MFSTEP1 project is an international scientific collaboration program which aims to create an operational forecasting system for the Mediterranean sea. The simulations provided at the basin scale are 10 days forecasting fields in a 3-D ocean. The hydrodynamic model primitive equations are combined with the data assimilation scheme SOFA2. The data collection is done in a near real time process and the set of XBT and SLA observations are used in one week assimilation cycle. The forecast assessment is traditionally realised using classical statistic tools like RMSE or the bias and the assimilation benefit is estimated by skill scores using as reference the free model, persistence or also climatology. The process is essentially based on the comparison of two fields at a fixed time, one corresponding to the simulations and the other one to the observations. The interest of such statistical methods comes in the quick and sensitive appreciation they provide about the quality, accuracy and consistency of the simulation. However this kind of assessment procedure brings in it self a conceptual contradiction: performances of a dynamical process are measured using a snap shot view of the ocean state. A system evolution assessment procedure is carried out within the framework of the MFSTEP hindcast. The hindcast system is intrinsically analysed (without independent informations) comparing the background forecast evolution with the abrupt variation which occurs at the observations assimilation time steps. The system evolution between two consecutive days is analysed using a decomposition method. The temperature and salinity fields evolution in a sub-region of theWestern Mediterranean basin is seen in a structural point of view and decomposed in three elements : a global spatial(2D) displacement which conserves the internal features, a global intensity variation which expresses the system energy changes, and an internal pattern changes ensemble. The index of evolution used is a mean squared difference between the two consecutive simulations. The displacement contribution is estimated after the determination of the shift (field translation) which minimises the local mean squared difference between the translated field and the next simulation. The intensity variation contribution is calculated as the difference of the squared mean fields. The remaining difference after manipulations is considered as the internal pattern changes contribution to the system evolution.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.