Propagating boundary uncertainties using polynomial expansions

W. C. Thacker, A. Srinivasan*, Mohamed Iskandarani, O. M. Knio, M. Le Hénaff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The method of polynomial chaos expansions is illustrated by showing how uncertainties in boundary conditions specifying the flow from the Caribbean Sea into the Gulf of Mexico manifest as uncertainties in a model's simulation of the Gulf's surface elevation field. The method, which has been used for a variety of engineering applications, is explained within an oceanographic context and its advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The method's utility requires that the spatially and temporally varying uncertainties of the inflow be characterized by a small number of independent random variables, which here correspond to amplitudes of spatiotemporal modes inferred from an available boundary climatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Modelling
StatePublished - 2012


  • Error propagation
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Loop Current
  • Ocean modeling
  • Polynomial chaos
  • Spectral stochastic expansions
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Oceanography
  • Atmospheric Science


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