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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-87
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Jul 2018

Research article | 30 Jul 2018

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

Synergy between satellite observations and model simulations during extreme events

Anne Wiese1, Joanna Staneva1, Johannes Schultz-Stellenfleth1, Arno Behrens1, Luciana Fenoglio-Marc2, and Jean-Raymond Bidlot3 Anne Wiese et al.
  • 1Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Geesthacht, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • 3European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK

Abstract. In this study, the quality of wind and wave data provided by the new Sentinel-3A satellite is evaluated. We focus on coastal areas, where altimeter data are of lower quality than those for the open ocean. The satellite data of Sentinel-3A, Jason-2 and CryoSat-2 are assessed in a comparison with in situ measurements and spectral wave model (WAM) simulations. The sensitivity of the wave model to wind forcing is evaluated using data with different temporal and spatial resolution, such as ERA-Interim and ERA5 reanalyses, ECMWF operational analysis and short-range forecasts, German Weather Service (DWD) forecasts and regional atmospheric model simulations -coastDat. Numerical simulations show that both the wave model forced using the ERA5 reanalyses and that forced using the ECMWF operational analysis/forecast demonstrate the best capability over the whole study period, as well as during extreme events. To further estimate the variance of the significant wave height of ensemble members for different wind forcings, especially during extreme events, an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis is performed. Intercomparisons between remote sensing and in situ observations demonstrate that the overall quality of the former is good over the North Sea and Baltic Sea throughout the study period, although the significant wave heights estimated based on satellite data tend to be greater than the in situ measurements by 7cm to 26cm. The quality of all satellite data near the coastal area decreases; however, within 10km off the coast, Sentinel-3A performs better than the other two satellites. Analyses in which data from satellite tracks are separated in terms of onshore and offshore flights have been carried out. No substantial differences are found when comparing the statistics for onshore and offshore flights. Moreover, no substantial differences are found between satellite tracks under various metocean conditions. Furthermore, the satellite data quality does not depend on the wind direction relative to the flight direction. Thus, the quality of the data obtained by the new Sentinel-3A satellite over coastal areas is improved compared to that of older satellites.

Anne Wiese et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Anne Wiese et al.
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The increase of data quality of wind and wave measurements provided by the new Sentinel-3A satellite in coastal areas is demonstrated compared to measurements of older satellites with in situ data and spectral wave model simulations. The sensitivity of the wave model to wind forcing is evaluated using data with different temporal and spatial resolution, where an hourly temporal resolution is necessary to represent the peak of extreme events better.
The increase of data quality of wind and wave measurements provided by the new Sentinel-3A...
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