FES99: A Global Tide Finite Element Solution Assimilating Tide Gauge and Altimetric Information

Publication Type Journal Article
Year 2002
Journal Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
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Primary Author Lefèvre, F.
Author Lyard, F.H.
Author Le Provost, C.
Author Schrama, E.J.O.
Volume 19
Issue 9
Pages 1345–1356
URL http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0426(2002)019%3C1345:FAGTFE%3E2.0.CO%3B2
DOI 10.1175/1520-0426(2002)019<1345:FAGTFE>2.0.CO;2
Abstract An improved version of the global hydrodynamic tide solutions [finite element solutions (FESs) FES94, FES95.2.1, and FES98] has been developed, implemented, and validated. The new model is based on the resolution of the tidal barotropic equations on a global finite element grid without any open boundary condition, which leads to solutions independent of in situ data (no open boundary conditions and no assimilation). The accuracy of these “free” solutions is improved by assimilating tide gauge and TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) altimeter information through a representer assimilation method. This leads to the FES99 version of this model. For the eight main constituents of the tidal spectrum (M2, S2, N2, K2, 2N2, K1, O1, and Q1), about 700 tide gauges and 687 T/P altimetric measurements are assimilated. An original algorithm is developed to calculate the tidal harmonic constituents at crossover points of the T/P altimeter database. Additional work is performed for the S2 wave by reconsidering the inverse barometer correction. To complete the spectrum, 19 minor constituents have been added by admittance. The accuracy of FES99 is evaluated against the former FESs. First, it is compared to two tide gauge datasets: ST95 (95 open-ocean measurements) and ST739 (739 coastal measurements). For ST95, the root-sum square of the differences between observations and solutions is reduced from 2.8 (FES95.2.1) to 2.4 cm (FES99), a gain of 17% in overall accuracy. Second, the variance of the sea surface variability is calculated and compared for FES95.2.1, FES98, and FES99 at the T/P and the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-2) crossover data points. FES99 performed best, with a residual standard deviation for the independent ERS-2 dataset of 13.5 cm (15.2 cm for FES95.2.1). Third, tidal predictions are implemented for the FESs to provide along-track estimates of the sea surface variability for T/P and ERS-2. Compared to ERS-2, FES99 residuals are 11.8 cm (12.4 cm for FES95.2.1). All the accuracy tests show that FES99 is a significant improvement compared to former FESs both in the deep ocean and along coasts.
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Notes This citation is for the paper that develops the model. Wes may have actually implemented the model in Matlab, and run it to get various numbers.