Articles | Volume 24, issue 3
Research article
19 Jul 2017
Research article |  | 19 Jul 2017

Controllability, not chaos, key criterion for ocean state estimation

Geoffrey Gebbie and Tsung-Lin Hsieh

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Cited articles

Arbic, B., Wallcraft, A., and Metzger, E.: Concurrent simulation of the eddying general circulation and tides in a global ocean model, Ocean Model., 32, 175–187, 2010.
Baker, G. L. and Gollub, J. P.: Chaotic Dynamics: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990.
Bennett, A. F.: Inverse methods in physical oceanography, in: Cambridge Monographs, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992.
Bennett, A. F.: Inverse Modeling of the Ocean and Atmosphere, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002.
Bonekamp, H., Van Oldenborgh, G. J., and Burgers, G.: Variational Assimilation of Tropical Atmosphere–Ocean and expendable bathythermograph data in the Hamburg Ocean Primitive Equation ocean general circulation model, adjusting the surface fluxes in the tropical ocean, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 106, 16693–16709, 2001.
Short summary
The best reconstructions of the past ocean state involve the statistical combination of numerical models and observations; however, the computationally efficient method that produces physically interpretable fields is thought to not be applicable to chaotic dynamical systems, such as ocean models with eddies. Here we use a model of the chaotic, forced pendulum to show that the most popular existing method is successful so long as there are enough uncertain boundary conditions through time.