Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 165–178 | Cite as

4DVAR Data Assimilation with the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS): Impact on the Water Mass Distributions in the Yellow Sea

  • Joon-Ho Lee
  • Taekyun Kim
  • Ig-Chan Pang
  • Jae-Hong Moon


In this study, we evaluate the performance of the recently developed incremental strong constraint 4-dimensional variational (4DVAR) data assimilation applied to the Yellow Sea (YS) using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). Two assimilation experiments are compared: assimilating remote-sensed sea surface temperature (SST) and both the SST and in-situ profiles measured by shipboard CTD casts into a regional ocean modeling from January to December of 2011. By comparing the two assimilation experiments against a free-run without data assimilation, we investigate how the assimilation affects the hydrographic structures in the YS. Results indicate that the SST assimilation notably improves the model behavior at the surface when compared to the non-assimilative free-run. The SST assimilation also has an impact on the subsurface water structure in the eastern YS; however, the improvement is seasonally dependent, that is, the correction becomes more effective in winter than in summer. This is due to a strong stratification in summer that prevents the assimilation of SST from affecting the subsurface temperature. A significant improvement to the subsurface temperature is made when the in-situ profiles of temperature and salinity are assimilated, forming a tongue-shaped YS bottom cold water from the YS toward the southwestern seas of Jeju Island.


data assimilation 4D-VAR hydrographic structure Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water 


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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joon-Ho Lee
    • 1
  • Taekyun Kim
    • 2
  • Ig-Chan Pang
    • 1
  • Jae-Hong Moon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Marine Science, College of Ocean SciencesJeju National UniversityJejuKorea
  2. 2.National Institute of Meteorological SciencesSeogwipoKorea

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