A three-dimensional variational data assimilation scheme for the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), named ROMS3DVAR, has been described in the work of Li et al. (2008). In this paper, ROMS3DVAR is applied to the central California coastal region, an area characterized by inhomogeneity and anisotropy, as well as by dynamically unbalanced flows. A method for estimating the model error variances from limited observations is presented, and the construction of the inhomogeneous and anisotropic error correlations based on the Kronecker product is demonstrated. A set of single observation experiments illustrates the inhomogeneous and anisotropic error correlations and weak dynamic constraints used. Results are presented from the assimilation of data gathered during the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN) experiment during August 2003. The results show that ROMS3DVAR is capable of reproducing complex flows associated with upwelling and relaxation, as well as the rapid transitions between them. Some difficulties encountered during the experiment are also discussed.
Journal Of Geophysical Research; Volume 113