Abstract:
A novel method for three-dimensional variational assimilation of Lagrangian data with a primitive-equation ocean model is proposed. The assimilation scheme was implemented in the Mediterranean ocean Forecasting System and evaluated for a 4-month period. Four experiments were designed to assess the impact of trajectory assimilation on the model output, i.e. the sea-surface height, velocity, temperature and salinity fields. It was found from the drifter and Argo trajectory assimilation experiment that the forecast skill of surface-drifter trajectories improved by 15 %, that of intermediate-depth float trajectories by 20 %, and moreover, the forecasted sea-surface height fields improved locally by 5 % compared to satellite data, while the quality of the temperature and salinity fields remained at previous levels. In conclusion, the addition of Lagrangian trajectory assimilation proved to reduce the uncertainties in the model fields, thus yielding a higher accuracy of the ocean forecasts.

Abstract:
A novel method for three-dimensional variational assimilation of Lagrangian data with a primitive-equation ocean model is proposed. The assimilation scheme was implemented in the Mediterranean ocean Forecasting System and evaluated for a 4-month period. Four experiments were designed to assess the impact of trajectory assimilation on the model output, i.e. the sea-surface height, velocity, temperature and salinity fields. It was found from the drifter and Argo trajectory assimilation experiment that the forecast skill of surface-drifter trajectories improved by 15 %, that of intermediate-depth float trajectories by 20 %, and moreover, that the forecasted sea-surface height fields improved locally by 5 % compared to satellite data, while the quality of the temperature and salinity fields remained at previous levels. In conclusion, the addition of Lagrangian trajectory assimilation proved to reduce the uncertainties in the model fields, thus yielding a higher accuracy of the ocean forecasts.

Abstract:
A parallel-in-time algorithm based on an augmented Lagrangian approach is proposed to solve four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation problems. The assimilation window is divided into multiple sub-intervals that allows to parallelize cost function and gradient computations. Solution continuity equations across interval boundaries are added as constraints. The augmented Lagrangian approach leads to a different formulation of the variational data assimilation problem than weakly constrained 4D-Var. A combination of serial and parallel 4D-Vars to increase performance is also explored. The methodology is illustrated on data assimilation problems with Lorenz-96 and the shallow water models.

Abstract:
Variational data assimilation in continuous time is revisited. The central techniques applied in this paper are in part adopted from the theory of optimal nonlinear control. Alternatively, the investigated approach can be considered as a continuous time generalisation of what is known as weakly constrained four dimensional variational assimilation (WC--4DVAR) in the geosciences. The technique allows to assimilate trajectories in the case of partial observations and in the presence of model error. Several mathematical aspects of the approach are studied. Computationally, it amounts to solving a two point boundary value problem. For imperfect models, the trade off between small dynamical error (i.e. the trajectory obeys the model dynamics) and small observational error (i.e. the trajectory closely follows the observations) is investigated. For (nearly) perfect models, this trade off turns out to be (nearly) trivial in some sense, yet allowing for some dynamical error is shown to have positive effects even in this situation. The presented formalism is dynamical in character; no assumptions need to be made about the presence (or absence) of dynamical or observational noise, let alone about their statistics.

Abstract:
The implicit particle filter is a sequential Monte Carlo method for data assimilation that guides the particles to the high-probability regions via a sequence of steps that includes minimizations. We present a new and more general derivation of this approach and extend the method to particle smoothing as well as to data assimilation for perfect models. We show that the minimizations required by implicit particle methods are similar to the ones one encounters in variational data assimilation and explore the connection of implicit particle methods with variational data assimilation. In particular, we argue that existing variational codes can be converted into implicit particle methods at a low cost, often yielding better estimates, that are also equipped with quantitative measures of the uncertainty. A detailed example is presented.

Abstract:
This paper studies the role of sparse regularization in a properly chosen basis for variational data assimilation (VDA) problems. Specifically, it focuses on data assimilation of noisy and down-sampled observations while the state variable of interest exhibits sparsity in the real or transformed domain. We show that in the presence of sparsity, the $\ell_{1}$-norm regularization produces more accurate and stable solutions than the classic data assimilation methods. To motivate further developments of the proposed methodology, assimilation experiments are conducted in the wavelet and spectral domain using the linear advection-diffusion equation.

Abstract:
A 4-dimensional variational data assimilation (4D-Var) scheme for the HIgh Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM) forecasting system is described in this article. The innovative approaches to the multi-incremental formulation, the weak digital filter constraint and the semi-Lagrangian time integration are highlighted with some details. The implicit dynamical structure functions are discussed using single observation experiments, and the sensitivity to various parameters of the 4D-Var formulation is illustrated. To assess the meteorological impact of HIRLAM 4D-Var, data assimilation experiments for five periods of 1 month each were performed, using HIRLAM 3D-Var as a reference. It is shown that the HIRLAM 4D-Var consistently out-performs the HIRLAM 3D-Var, in particular for cases with strong mesoscale storm developments. The computational performance of the HIRLAM 4D-Var is also discussed.The review process was handled by Subject Editor Abdel Hannachi

Abstract:
Variational data assimilation technique applied to identification of optimal approximations of derivatives near boundary is discussed in frames of one-dimensional wave equation. Simplicity of the equation and of its numerical scheme allows us to discuss in detail as the development of the adjoint model and assimilation results. It is shown what kind of errors can be corrected by this control and how these errors are corrected. This study is carried out in view of using this control to identify optimal numerical schemes in coastal regions of ocean models.

Abstract:
Variational method is capable of dealing with observations that have a complicated nonlinear relation with model variables representative of the atmospheric state, and so make it possible to directly assimilate such measured variables as satellite radiance, which have a nonlinear relation with the model variables. Assimilation of any type of observations requires a corresponding observation operator, which establishes a specific mapping from the space of the model state to the space of observation. This paper presents in detail how the direct assimilation of real satellite radiance data is implemented in the GRAPES-3DVar analysis system. It focuses on all the components of the observation operator for direct assimilation of real satellite radiance data, including a spatial interpolation operator that transforms variables from model grid points to observation locations, a physical transformation from model variables to observed elements with different choices of model variables, and a data quality control. Assimilation experiments, using satellite radiances such as NOAA17 AMSU-A and AMSU-B (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit), are carried out with two different schemes. The results from these experiments can be physically understood and clearly reflect a rational effect of direct assimilation of satellite radiance data in GRAPES-3DVar analysis system.

Abstract:
Variational data assimilation technique applied to the identification of the optimal discretization of interpolation operators and derivatives in the nodes adjacent to the boundary of the domain is discussed in frames of the linear shallow water model. The advantage of controlling the discretization of operators near boundary rather than boundary conditions is shown. Assimilating data produced by the same model on a finer grid in a model on a coarse grid, we have shown that optimal discretization allows us to correct such errors of the numerical scheme as under-resolved boundary layer and wrong wave velocity.