Skill assessment in ocean biological data assimilation Academic Article uri icon


  • There is growing recognition that rigorous skill assessment is required to understand the ability of ocean biological models to represent ocean processes and distributions. Statistical analysis of model results with observations represents the most quantitative form of skill assessment, and this principle serves as well for data assimilation models. However, skill assessment for data assimilation requires special consideration. This is because there are three sets of information in data assimilation: the free-run model, data, and the assimilation model, which uses information from both the free-run model and the data. Intercomparison of results among the three sets of information is important and useful for assessment, but is not conclusive since the three information sets are intertwined. An independent data set is necessary for an objective determination. Other useful measures of ocean biological data assimilation assessment include responses of unassimilated variables to the data assimilation, performance outside the prescribed region/time of interest, forecasting, and trend analysis. Examples of each approach from the literature are provided. A comprehensive list of ocean biological data assimilation and their applications of skill assessment, in both ecosystem/biogeochernical and fisheries efforts, is summarized. Published by Elsevier B.V.

publication date

  • February 2009