BSRA-15: A Baltic Sea Reanalysis 1990–2004

Type: Report
Series: RO 45
Author: Lars Axell


Oceanographic observations are often of high quality but are available only with low resolution in time and space. On the other hand, model fields have high resolution in time and space but are not necessarily in agreement with observations. To bridge the gap between these very different kinds of data sets, a reanalysis can be made, which means that fixed versions of the numerical model and the data assimilation system are used to analyse a period of several years. This report describes an oceanographic reanalysis covering the period 1990 to 2004 (15 whole years). The horizontal resolution is 3 nautical miles in the Baltic Sea and 12 nautical miles in the North Sea, and the vertical resolution varies between 4 meters near the surface to 60 meters in the deepest part (up to 24 vertical layers). The time resolution of the reanalysis product is 6 hours. The numerical ocean model used is HIROMB (High-Resolution Operational Model for the Baltic), version 3.0. The data assimilation method used in this reanalysis is the Successive Corrections Method (SCM) for salinity and temperature, whereas ice observations in terms of ice charts were simply interpolated. The result looks good in terms of sea levels, ice fields, and salinity and temperature structure, whereas currents have not been validated. This oceanographic reanalysis was probably the first one ever for the Baltic Sea (when it was done in 2005) and may serve as a starting point before longer, more advanced reanalyses are produced.