Research Seminar Series: Mooring, Orbiting and Drifting-How Does Data Collection Help Model the Ocean?

Online via Zoom

The School of Arts and Sciences is organizing a lecture on Mooring, Orbiting and Drifting: How Does Data Collection Help Model the Ocean, presented by LAU Associate Professor of Mathematics Leila Issa. The event is part of the School’s Research Seminar Series. 

Abstract: An accurate estimation of mesoscale to sub-mesoscale surface dynamics in the ocean is critical. For instance, this estimation helps in predicting the transport and dispersion of pollutants emanating from heavily populated coastal areas. The transport of passive tracers is governed by fluid dynamics equations capturing essential physical effects such as advection by geostrophic mesoscale eddies, and diffusion. Accurate numerical solution of these equations depends on several factors, among which is a good estimation of the underlying surface velocity field. This task can be challenging, especially when direct observations are relatively sparse.

In her talk, Dr. Issa will present a near real time 3D-Var data assimilation algorithm that provides continuous estimates of the surface velocity in the Eastern Mediterranean. This algorithm relies on correcting the geostrophic surface velocity (obtained by altimetry) by assimilating real drifter trajectories and wind speed data. She will also present validation of the algorithm’s output by comparing the corrected velocities to independent data such as in-situ moored current-meter velocities and satellite images of Chlorophyll-a. This work is in collaboration with J. Brajard (LOCEAN, Paris VI) and G. Baaklini (CNRS-L).