Spatial Error Metrics for Oceanographic Model Verification

Sean B. Ziegeler, James D. Dykes, Jay F. Shriver
2012 Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology  
A common problem with modern numerical oceanographic models is spatial displacement, including misplacement and misshapenness of ocean circulation features. Traditional error metrics, such as least squares methods, are ineffective in many such cases; for example, only small errors in the location of a frontal pattern are translated to large differences in least squares of intensities. Such problems are common in meteorological forecast verification as well, so the application of spatial error
more » ... of spatial error metrics have been a recently popular topic there. Spatial error metrics separate model error into a displacement component and an intensity component, providing a more reliable assessment of model biases and a more descriptive portrayal of numerical model prediction skill. The application of spatial error metrics to oceanographic models has been sparse, and further advances for both meteorology and oceanography exist in the medical imaging field. These advances are presented, along with modifications necessary for oceanographic model output. Standard methods and options for those methods in the literature are explored, and where the best arrangements of options are unclear, comparison studies are conducted. These trials require the reproduction of synthetic displacements in conjunction with synthetic intensity perturbations across 480 Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) temperature fields from various regions of the globe throughout 2009. Study results revealed the success of certain approaches novel to both meteorology and oceanography, including B-spline transforms and mutual information. That, combined with other common methods, such as quasi-Newton optimization and land masking, could best recover the synthetic displacements under various synthetic intensity changes.
doi:10.1175/jtech-d-11-00109.1 fatcat:6soll25brfbdtjom2xzksgd3uy