Objective assessment of the contribution of the RECOPESCA network to the monitoring of 3D coastal ocean variables in the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel

Julien Lamouroux, Guillaume Charria, Pierre De Mey, Stéphane Raynaud, Catherine Heyraud, Philippe Craneguy, Franck Dumas, Matthieu Le Hénaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, in situ observations represent a key element to monitor and to understand the wide range of processes in the coastal ocean and their direct impacts on human activities. An efficient way to measure the hydrological content of the water column over the main part of the continental shelf is to consider ships of opportunity as the surface to cover is wide and could be far from the coast. In the French observation strategy, the RECOPESCA programme, as a component of the High frequency Observation network for the environment in coastal SEAs (HOSEA), aims to collect environmental observations from sensors attached to fishing nets. In the present study, we assess that network using the Array Modes (ArM) method (a stochastic implementation of Le Hénaff et al. Ocean Dyn 59: 3–20. doi: 10.1007/s10236-008-0144-7, 2009). That model ensemble-based method is used here to compare model and observation errors and to quantitatively evaluate the performance of the observation network at detecting prior (model) uncertainties, based on hypotheses on error sources. A reference network, based on fishing vessel observations in 2008, is assessed using that method. Considering the various seasons, we show the efficiency of the network at detecting the main model uncertainties. Moreover, three scenarios, based on the reference network, a denser network in 2010 and a fictive network aggregated from a pluri-annual collection of profiles, are also analysed. Our sensitivity study shows the importance of the profile positions with respect to the sheer number of profiles for ensuring the ability of the network to describe the main error modes. More generally, we demonstrate the capacity of this method, with a low computational cost, to assess and to design new in situ observation networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-588
Number of pages22
JournalOcean Dynamics
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • Bay of Biscay
  • Design of in situ observation network
  • English Channel
  • Model errors
  • Performance assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

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