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Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter for earth-system models: an application to extreme events

Description

Earth-system models describe the interacting components of the climate system and

technological systems that affect society, such as communication infrastructures. Data

assimilation addresses the challenge of state specification by incorporating system

observations into

Earth-system models describe the interacting components of the climate system and

technological systems that affect society, such as communication infrastructures. Data

assimilation addresses the challenge of state specification by incorporating system

observations into the model estimates. In this research, a particular data

assimilation technique called the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF) is

applied to the ionosphere, which is a domain of practical interest due to its effects

on infrastructures that depend on satellite communication and remote sensing. This

dissertation consists of three main studies that propose strategies to improve space-

weather specification during ionospheric extreme events, but are generally applicable

to Earth-system models:

Topic I applies the LETKF to estimate ion density with an idealized model of

the ionosphere, given noisy synthetic observations of varying sparsity. Results show

that the LETKF yields accurate estimates of the ion density field and unobserved

components of neutral winds even when the observation density is spatially sparse

(2% of grid points) and there is large levels (40%) of Gaussian observation noise.

Topic II proposes a targeted observing strategy for data assimilation, which uses

the influence matrix diagnostic to target errors in chosen state variables. This

strategy is applied in observing system experiments, in which synthetic electron density

observations are assimilated with the LETKF into the Thermosphere-Ionosphere-

Electrodynamics Global Circulation Model (TIEGCM) during a geomagnetic storm.

Results show that assimilating targeted electron density observations yields on

average about 60%–80% reduction in electron density error within a 600 km radius of

the observed location, compared to 15% reduction obtained with randomly placed

vertical profiles.

Topic III proposes a methodology to account for systematic model bias arising

ifrom errors in parametrized solar and magnetospheric inputs. This strategy is ap-

plied with the TIEGCM during a geomagnetic storm, and is used to estimate the

spatiotemporal variations of bias in electron density predictions during the

transitionary phases of the geomagnetic storm. Results show that this strategy reduces

error in 1-hour predictions of electron density by about 35% and 30% in polar regions

during the main and relaxation phases of the geomagnetic storm, respectively.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018