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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-169
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-169
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 16 Jan 2019

Research article | 16 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Copernicus (CMEMS) operational model intercomparison in the western Mediterranean Sea: Insights from an eddy tracker

Evan Mason1,2, Simon Ruiz1, Romain Bourdalle-Badie3, Guillaume Reffray3, Marcos Garcia-Sotillo4, and Ananda Pascual1 Evan Mason et al.
  • 1IMEDEA, Esporles, Mallorca, Spain
  • 2University of Washington, Seattle, USA
  • 3Mercator Ocean, 8-10 Rue Hermès, 31520, Ramonville Saint-Agne, France
  • 4Puertos del Estado, Madrid, Spain

Abstract. Rapid evolution of operational ocean models is driven by advances in numerics and sophisticated data assimilation schemes, computational power, and storage capacity. The Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS) is a major provider of operational products that are made available through an online catalogue. The service includes global and regional forecasts in near-real-time and reanalysis modes. Here we apply an eddy tracker to daily SSH fields from three such reanalysis products from the CMEMS catalogue, with the objective to evaluate their performance in terms of their eddy properties and three-dimensional composite structures over the period 2013 through 2016. The products are (i) the Global Analysis Forecast, (ii) the Mediterranean Analysis Forecast, and (iii) the Iberia-Biscay-Ireland Analysis Forecast. The common domain between these reanalyses is the western Mediterranean Sea (WMED) between the Strait of Gibraltar and Sardinia. This is a complex region with strong density gradients, especially in the Alboran Sea in the west where Atlantic and Mediterranean waters compete. Surface eddy property maps over the WMED of eddy radii, amplitudes and nonlinearity are consistent between the models, as well as with gridded altimetric data that serve as a reference. Mean 3D eddy composites are shown only for three subregions in the Alboran Sea. These are mostly consistent between the models, with minor differences being attributed to details of the respective model configurations. This information can be informative for the ongoing development of these CMEMS operational modeling systems.

Evan Mason et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Evan Mason et al.
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