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Accuracy assessment of global barotropic ocean tide models Public Deposited

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  • The accuracy of state-of-the-art global barotropic tide models is assessed using bottom pressure data, coastal tide gauges, satellite altimetry, various geodetic data on Antarctic ice shelves, and independent tracked satellite orbit perturbations. Tide models under review include empirical, purely hydrodynamic (“forward”), and assimilative dynamical, i.e., constrained by observations. Ten dominant tidal constituents in the diurnal, semidiurnal, and quarter-diurnal bands are considered. Since the last major model comparison project in 1997, models have improved markedly, especially in shallow-water regions and also in the deep ocean. The root-sum-square differences between tide observations and the best models for eight major constituents are approximately 0.9, 5.0, and 6.5 cm for pelagic, shelf, and coastal conditions, respectively. Large intermodel discrepancies occur in high latitudes, but testing in those regions is impeded by the paucity of high-quality in situ tide records. Long-wavelength components of models tested by analyzing satellite laser ranging measurements suggest that several models are comparably accurate for use in precise orbit determination, but analyses of GRACE intersatellite ranging data show that all models are still imperfect on basin and subbasin scales, especially near Antarctica. For the M₂ constituent, errors in purely hydrodynamic models are now almost comparable to the 1980-era Schwiderski empirical solution, indicating marked advancement in dynamical modeling. Assessing model accuracy using tidal currents remains problematic owing to uncertainties in in situ current meter estimates and the inability to isolate the barotropic mode. Velocity tests against both acoustic tomography and current meters do confirm that assimilative models perform better than purely hydrodynamic models.
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  • Stammer, D., Ray, R. D., Andersen, O. B., Arbic, B. K., Bosch, W., Carrère, L., ... & Yi, Y. (2014). Accuracy assessment of global barotropic ocean tide models. Reviews of Geophysics, 52(3), 243-282. doi:10.1002/2014RG000450
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  • This work was funded in part through the German Science Foundation (DFG) SPP 1257 (projects DAROTA and DYNTIDE) and through the DFG-funded excellence initiative CLISAP. Authors F.G.G., S.B.L., and R.D.R. were supported by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the Ocean Surface Topography and GRACE programs. M.A.K. is a recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project FT110100207). J.A.M.G.’s work was done under a Natural Environmental Research Council Advanced Fellowship (NE/F014821/). B.K.A. acknowledges support from Office of Naval Research (ONR) grant N00014-11-1-0487. J.G.R. and J.F.S. were supported by the projects “Eddy resolving global ocean prediction including tides” and “Ageostrophic vorticity dynamics” sponsored by ONR under program element 0602435N. B.K.A., J.G.R., and J.F.S. acknowledge a grant for computer time from the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program at the Navy DSRC. S.D.G. and V.L. were supported through Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/I013563/1. The far-field component of the Hawaiian Ocean Mixing Experiment and the deployment of the associated acoustic tomography arrays were supported by grants OCE-9819527 and OCE98-19525 from the National Science Foundation. H.S.F. and Y.C. acknowledge support through the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 41374010 and 41306194). C.K.S., H.S.F., and Y.C.Y. were partially supported by NASA’s Advanced Geodesy Program (grant NNX12AK28G) and by the Chinese Academy of Sciences/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (grant KZZD-EW-TZ-05).
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