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Surface Kinetic Energy Distributions in the Global Oceans From a High-Resolution Numerical Model and Surface Drifter Observations

Abstract : The surface kinetic energy of a 1/48° global ocean simulation and its distribution as a function of frequency and location are compared with the one estimated from 15,329 globally distributed surface drifter observations at hourly resolution. These distributions follow similar patterns with a dominant low-frequency component and well-defined tidal and near-inertial peaks globally. Quantitative differences are identified with deficits of low-frequency energy near the equator (factor 2) and at near-inertial frequencies (factor 3) and an excess of energy at semidiurnal frequencies (factor 4) for the model. Owing to its hourly resolution and its near-global spatial coverage, the array of surface drifters is an invaluable tool to evaluate the realism of tide-resolving high-resolution ocean simulations used in observing system simulation experiments. Sources of bias between model and drifter data are discussed, and associated leads for future work highlighted.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 10:14:09 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 3:39:37 AM

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Xiaolong yu, Aurélien L. Ponte, Shane Elipot, Dimitris Menemenlis, Edward D. Zaron, et al.. Surface Kinetic Energy Distributions in the Global Oceans From a High-Resolution Numerical Model and Surface Drifter Observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 2019, 46, pp.9757-9766. ⟨10.1029/2019GL083074⟩. ⟨insu-03683190⟩

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