Weak constraints in four-dimensional variational data assimilation
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2007/0249
The formulation of four-dimensional variational data assimilation allows the incorporation of constraints into the cost function which need only be weakly satisfied. In this paper we investigate the value of imposing conservation properties as weak constraints. Using the example of the two-body problem of celestial mechanics we compare weak constraints based on conservation laws with a constraint on the background state.We show how the imposition of conservation-based weak constraints changes the nature of the gradient equation. Assimilation experiments demonstrate how this can add extra information to the assimilation process, even when the underlying numerical model is conserving.