Lagrangian validation of numerical drifter trajectories using drifting buoys: Application to the Agulhas region.

Van Sebille, E., van Leeuwen, P.J., Biastoch, Arne , Barron, C.N. and de Ruijter, W.P.M. (2009) Lagrangian validation of numerical drifter trajectories using drifting buoys: Application to the Agulhas region. Ocean Modelling, 29 . pp. 269-276. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2009.05.005.

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The skill of numerical Lagrangian drifter trajectories in three numerical models is assessed by comparing these numerically obtained paths to the trajectories of drifting buoys in the real ocean. The skill assessment is performed using the two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical test. To demonstrate the assessment procedure, it is applied to three different models of the Agulhas region. The test can either be performed using crossing positions of one-dimensional sections in order to test model performance in specific locations, or using the total two-dimensional data set of trajectories. The test yields four quantities: a binary decision of model skill, a confidence level which can be used as a measure of goodness-of-fit of the model, a test statistic which can be used to determine the sensitivity of the confidence level, and cumulative distribution functions that aid in the qualitative analysis. The ordering of models by their confidence levels is the same as the ordering based on the qualitative analysis, which suggests that the method is suited for model validation. Only one of the three models, a 1/10 degree two-way nested regional ocean model, might have skill in the Agulhas region. The other two models, a 1/2 degree global model and a 1/8 degree assimilative model, might have skill only on some sections in the region.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Numerical Lagrangian drifters, Model validation, Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistics, Drifting buoys
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2009 12:58
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 22:11

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