Reviews and syntheses: Parameter identification in marine planktonic ecosystem modelling

Schartau, Markus, Wallhead, Philip, Hemmings, John, Löptien, Ulrike, Kriest, Iris, Krishna, Shubham, Ward, Ben A., Slawig, Thomas and Oschlies, Andreas (2016) Reviews and syntheses: Parameter identification in marine planktonic ecosystem modelling Biogeosciences Discussions . pp. 1-79. DOI 10.5194/bg-2016-242.

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Abstract

To describe the underlying processes involved in oceanic plankton dynamics is crucial for the determination of energy and mass flux through an ecosystem and for the estimation of biogeochemical element cycling. Many planktonic ecosystem models were developed to resolve major processes so that flux estimates can be derived from numerical simulations. These results depend on the type and number of parameterisations incorporated as model equations. Furthermore, the values assigned to respective parameters specify a model's solution. Representative model results are those that can explain data, therefore data assimilation methods are utilised to yield optimal estimates of parameter values while fitting model results to match data. Central difficulties are 1) planktonic ecosystem models are imperfect and 2) data are often too sparse to constrain all model parameters. In this review we explore how problems in parameter identification are approached in marine planktonic ecosystem modelling. We provide background information about model uncertainties and estimation methods, and how these are considered for assessing misfits between observations and model results. We explain differences in evaluating uncertainties in parameter estimation, thereby also addressing issues of parameter identifiability. Aspects of model complexity will be covered and we describe how results from cross-validation studies provide much insight in this respect. Moreover, we elucidate inferences made in studies that allowed for variations in space and time of parameter values. The usage of dynamical and statistical emulator approaches will be briefly explained, discussing their advantage for parameter optimisations of large-scale biogeochemical models. Our survey extends to studies that approached parameter identification in global biogeochemical modelling. Parameter estimation results will exemplify some of the advantages and remaining problems in optimising global biogeochemical models. Our review discloses many facets of parameter identification, as we found many commonalities between the objectives of different approaches, but scientific insight differed between studies. To learn more from results of planktonic ecosystem models we recommend finding a good balance in the level of sophistication between mechanistic modelling and statistical data assimilation treatment for parameter estimation.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Kiel University > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Computer Science
Refereed: No
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bg-2016-242
ISSN: 1810-6285
Projects: SOPRAN, BIOACID, PalMod
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 05:37
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2016 05:37
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/33426

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