Validation and Parameter Sensitivity Tests for Reconstructing Swell Field Based on an Ensemble Kalman Filter

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Nov 25;16(12):2000. doi: 10.3390/s16122000.


The swell propagation model built on geometric optics is known to work well when simulating radiated swells from a far located storm. Based on this simple approximation, satellites have acquired plenty of large samples on basin-traversing swells induced by fierce storms situated in mid-latitudes. How to routinely reconstruct swell fields with these irregularly sampled observations from space via known swell propagation principle requires more examination. In this study, we apply 3-h interval pseudo SAR observations in the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to reconstruct a swell field in ocean basin, and compare it with buoy swell partitions and polynomial regression results. As validated against in situ measurements, EnKF works well in terms of spatial-temporal consistency in far-field swell propagation scenarios. Using this framework, we further address the influence of EnKF parameters, and perform a sensitivity analysis to evaluate estimations made under different sets of parameters. Such analysis is of key interest with respect to future multiple-source routinely recorded swell field data. Satellite-derived swell data can serve as a valuable complementary dataset to in situ or wave re-analysis datasets.

Keywords: EnKF; parameter sensitivity; pseudo SAR observation; swell field reconstruction.