Verifying and assessing the performance of the perturbation strategy in polynomial chaos ensemble forecasts of the circulation in the Gulf of Mexico

Shitao Wang, Guotu Li, Mohamed Iskandarani, Matthieu Le Hénaff, Omar M. Knio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of two recent efforts aimed at quantifying the uncertainties in a 30-day HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model forecast of the circulation in the Gulf of Mexico, with particular emphasis on the separation of Loop Current Eddy Franklin, using Polynomial Chaos methods. The analysis herein explores whether the model perturbations lead to realistic representation of the uncertainty in the Gulf Circulation. Comparisons of model output with Sea Surface Height and current mooring data show that the observational data generally falls within the envelope of the ensemble and that the modal decomposition delivers “realistic” perturbations in the Loop Current region. We use information theory metrics to quantify the information gain and the computational trade-offs between different wind and initial conditions perturbation modes. The relative entropy measures indicate that two modes for initial condition perturbations are enough, in our model configuration, to represent the uncertainty in the Loop Current region; while two modes for wind forcing perturbations are necessary in order to estimate the uncertainty in the coastal zone. The ensemble statistics are then explored using the Polynomial Chaos surrogate and the newly developed contour boxplot methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Modelling
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018



  • Data depth
  • Ocean modeling
  • Polynomial chaos
  • Relative entropy
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science

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