Improving trajectory calculations by FLEXPART 10.4+ using single-image super-resolution

Rüdiger Brecht, Lucie Bakels, Alex Bihlo, Andreas Stohl

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Lagrangian trajectory or particle dispersion models as well as semi-Lagrangian advection schemes require meteorological data such as wind, temperature and geopotential at the exact spatiotemporal locations of the particles that move independently from a regular grid. Traditionally, these high-resolution data have been obtained by interpolating the meteorological parameters from the gridded data of a meteorological model or reanalysis, e.g., using linear interpolation in space and time. However, interpolation is a large source of error for these models. Reducing them requires meteorological input fields with high space and time resolution, which may not always be available and can cause severe data storage and transfer problems. Here, we interpret this problem as a single-image super-resolution task. That is, we interpret meteorological fields available at their native resolution as low-resolution images and train deep neural networks to upscale them to a higher resolution, thereby providing more accurate data for Lagrangian models. We train various versions of the state-of-The-Art enhanced deep residual networks for super-resolution (EDSR) on low-resolution ERA5 reanalysis data with the goal to upscale these data to an arbitrary spatial resolution. We show that the resulting upscaled wind fields have root-mean-squared errors half the size of the winds obtained with linear spatial interpolation at acceptable computational inference costs. In a test setup using the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART and reduced-resolution wind fields, we find that absolute horizontal transport deviations of calculated trajectories from "true"trajectories calculated with un-degraded 0.5g×g0.5g winds are reduced by at least 49.5g% (21.8g%) after 48gh relative to trajectories using linear interpolation of the wind data when training on 2gto 1g(4g to 2g) resolution data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2181-2192
Number of pages12
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 105206 Meteorology

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