Chemical Source Inversion Using Assimilated Constituent Observations in an Idealized Two-Dimensional System

Tangborn, Andrew; Cooper, Robert; Pawson, Steven; Zhibin Sun
September 2009
Monthly Weather Review;Sep2009, Vol. 137 Issue 9, p3013
Academic Journal
A source inversion technique for chemical constituents is presented that uses assimilated constituent observations rather than directly using the observations. The method is tested with a simple model problem, which is a two-dimensional Fourier–Galerkin transport model combined with a Kalman filter for data assimilation. Inversion is carried out using a Green’s function method and observations are simulated from a true state with added Gaussian noise. The forecast state uses the same spectral model but differs by an unbiased Gaussian model error and emissions models with constant errors. The numerical experiments employ both simulated in situ and satellite observation networks. Source inversion was carried out either by directly using synthetically generated observations with added noise or by first assimilating the observations and using the analyses to extract observations. Twenty identical twin experiments were conducted for each set of source and observation configurations, and it was found that in the limiting cases of a very few localized observations or an extremely large observation network there is little advantage to carrying out assimilation first. For intermediate observation densities, the source inversion error standard deviation is decreased by 50% to 90% when the observations are assimilated with the Kalman filter before carrying out the Green’s function inversion.


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