Ensemble-based data assimilation and targeted observation of a chemical tracer in a sea breeze model

Amy L. Stuart, Altug Aksoy, Fuqing Zhang, John W. Nielsen-Gammon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We study the use of ensemble-based Kalman filtering of chemical observations for constraining forecast uncertainties and for selecting targeted observations. Using a coupled model of two-dimensional sea breeze dynamics and chemical tracer transport, we perform three numerical experiments. First, we investigate the chemical tracer forecast uncertainties associated with meteorological initial condition and forcing error. We find that the ensemble variance and error builds during the transition between land and sea breeze phases of the circulation. Second, we investigate the effects on the forecast variance and error of assimilating tracer concentration observations extracted from a truth simulation for a network of surface locations. We find that assimilation reduces the variance and error in both the observed variable (chemical tracer concentrations) and unobserved meteorological variables (vorticity and buoyancy). Finally, we investigate the potential value to the forecast of targeted observations. We calculate an observation impact factor that maximizes the total decrease in model uncertainty summed over all state variables. We find that locations of optimal targeted observations remain similar before and after assimilation of regular network observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3082-3094
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number14
StatePublished - May 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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