Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Model experiment description paper
06 Feb 2015
Model experiment description paper |  | 06 Feb 2015

Assimilation of surface NO2 and O3 observations into the SILAM chemistry transport model

J. Vira and M. Sofiev

Abstract. This paper describes the assimilation of trace gas observations into the chemistry transport model SILAM (System for Integrated modeLling of Atmospheric coMposition) using the 3D-Var method. Assimilation results for the year 2012 are presented for the prominent photochemical pollutants ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Both species are covered by the AirBase observation database, which provides the observational data set used in this study.

Attention was paid to the background and observation error covariance matrices, which were obtained primarily by the iterative application of a posteriori diagnostics. The diagnostics were computed separately for 2 months representing summer and winter conditions, and further disaggregated by time of day. This enabled the derivation of background and observation error covariance definitions, which included both seasonal and diurnal variation. The consistency of the obtained covariance matrices was verified using χ2 diagnostics.

The analysis scores were computed for a control set of observation stations withheld from assimilation. Compared to a free-running model simulation, the correlation coefficient for daily maximum values was improved from 0.8 to 0.9 for O3 and from 0.53 to 0.63 for NO2.