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2018
Zaba, K, Rudnick DL, Cornuelle B, Gopalakrishnan G, Mazloff M.  2018.  Annual and interannual variability in the California Current System: Comparison of an ocean state estimate with a network of underwater gliders. Journal of Physical Oceanography.   10.1175/jpo-d-18-0037.1   Abstract

A data-constrained state estimate of the southern California Current System (CCS) is presented and compared against withheld CalCOFI data and assimilated glider data over the years 2007-2017. The objective of this comparison is to assess the ability of the California State Estimate (CASE) to reproduce the key physical features of the CCS mean state, annual cycles, and interannual variability along the three sections of the California Underwater Glider Network (CUGN). The assessment focuses on several oceanic metrics deemed most important for characterizing physical variability in the CCS: 50 m potential temperature, 80 m salinity, and 26 kg/m3 isopycnal depth and salinity. In the time-mean, the CASE reproduces large-scale thermohaline and circulation structures, including observed temperature gradients, shoaling isopycnals, and the locations and magnitudes of the equatorward California Current and poleward California Undercurrent. With respect to the annual cycle, the CASE captures the phase and, to a lesser extent, the magnitude of upper ocean warming and stratification in late summer to early fall and of isopycnal heave due to springtime upwelling. The CASE also realistically captures near-surface diapycnal mixing during upwelling season and the semiannual cycle of the California Undercurrent. In terms of interannual variability, the most pronounced signals are the persistent warming and downwelling anomalies of 2014-2016 and a positive isopycnal salinity anomaly that peaked with the 2015-2016 El Niño.

Gemba, KL, Sarkar J, Cornuelle B, Hodgkiss WS, Kuperman WA.  2018.  Estimating relative channel impulse responses from ships of opportunity in a shallow water environment. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 144:1231-1244.   10.1121/1.5052259   Abstract

The uncertainty of estimating relative channel impulse responses (CIRs) obtained using the radiated signature from a ship of opportunity is investigated. The ship observations were taken during a 1.4 km (11 min) transect in a shallow water environment during the Noise Correlation 2009 (NC09) experiment. Beamforming on the angle associated with the direct ray-path yields an estimate of the ship signature, subsequently used in a matched filter. Relative CIRs are estimated every 2.5 s independently at three vertical line arrays (VLAs). The relative arrival-time uncertainty is inversely proportional to source bandwidth and CIR signal-to-noise ratio, and reached a minimum standard deviation of 5 μs (equivalent to approximately 1 cm spatial displacement). Time-series of direct-path relative arrival-times are constructed for each VLA element across the 11 min observation interval. The overall structure of these time-series compares favorably with that predicted from an array element localization model. The short-term standard deviations calculated on the direct-path (7 μs) and bottom-reflected-path (17 μs) time-series are in agreement with the predicted arrival-time accuracies. The implications of these observed arrival-time accuracies in the context of estimating sound speed perturbations and bottom-depth are discussed.

Mazloff, MR, Cornuelle BD, Gille ST, Verdy A.  2018.  Correlation lengths for estimating the large-scale carbon and heat content of the Southern Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 123:883-901.   10.1002/2017jc013408   AbstractWebsite

The spatial correlation scales of oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon, heat content, and carbon and heat exchanges with the atmosphere are estimated from a realistic numerical simulation of the Southern Ocean. Biases in the model are assessed by comparing the simulated sea surface height and temperature scales to those derived from optimally interpolated satellite measurements. While these products do not resolve all ocean scales, they are representative of the climate scale variability we aim to estimate. Results show that constraining the carbon and heat inventory between 35 degrees S and 70 degrees S on time-scales longer than 90 days requires approximately 100 optimally spaced measurement platforms: approximately one platform every 20 degrees longitude by 6 degrees latitude. Carbon flux has slightly longer zonal scales, and requires a coverage of approximately 30 degrees by 6 degrees. Heat flux has much longer scales, and thus a platform distribution of approximately 90 degrees by 10 degrees would be sufficient. Fluxes, however, have significant subseasonal variability. For all fields, and especially fluxes, sustained measurements in time are required to prevent aliasing of the eddy signals into the longer climate scale signals. Our results imply a minimum of 100 biogeochemical-Argo floats are required to monitor the Southern Ocean carbon and heat content and air-sea exchanges on time-scales longer than 90 days. However, an estimate of formal mapping error using the current Argo array implies that in practice even an array of 600 floats (a nominal float density of about 1 every 7 degrees longitude by 3 degrees latitude) will result in nonnegligible uncertainty in estimating climate signals.

2017
Yoo, JG, Kim SY, Cornuelle BD, Kosro PM, Kurapov AL.  2017.  A Noninterpolated Estimate of Horizontal Spatial Covariance from Nonorthogonally and Irregularly Sampled Scalar Velocities. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 34:2407-2430.   10.1175/jtech-d-17-0100.1   AbstractWebsite

This paper presents a least squares method to estimate the horizontal (isotropic or anisotropic) spatial covariance of two-dimensional orthogonal vector components, without introducing an intervening mapping step and biases, from the spatial covariance of the nonorthogonally and irregularly sampled raw scalar velocities. The field is assumed to be locally homogeneous in space and sampled in an ensemble so the unknown spatial covariance is a function of spatial lag only. The transformation between the irregular grid on which nonorthogonal scalar projections of the vector are sampled and the regular orthogonal grid on which they will be mapped is created using the geometry of the problem. The spatial covariance of the orthogonal velocity components of the field is parameterized by either the energy (power) spectrum in the wavenumber domain or the lagged covariance in the spatial domain. The energy spectrum is constrained to be nonnegative definite as part of the solution of the inverse problem. This approach is applied to three example sets of data, using nonorthogonally and irregularly sampled radial velocity data obtained from 1) a simple spectral model, 2) a regional numerical model, and 3) an array of high-frequency radars. In tests where the true covariance is known, the proposed direct approaches fitting to parameterization of the nonorthogonally and irregularly sampled raw data in the wavenumber domain and spatial domain outperform methods that map the data to a regular grid before estimating the covariance.

Villas Bôas, AB, Gille ST, Mazloff MR, Cornuelle BD.  2017.  Characterization of the deep-water surface wave variability in the California current region. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.   10.1002/2017JC013280   Abstract

Surface waves are crucial for the dynamics of the upper ocean not only because they mediate exchanges of momentum, heat, energy, and gases between the ocean and the atmosphere, but also because they determine the sea state. The surface wave field in a given region is set by the combination of local and remote forcing. The present work characterizes the seasonal variability of the deep–water surface wave field in the California Current region, as retrieved from over two decades of satellite altimetry data combined with wave buoys and wave model hindcast (WaveWatch III). In particular, the extent to which the local wind modulates the variability of the significant wave height, peak period, and peak direction is assessed. During spring/summer, regional–scale wind events of up to 10 m/s are the dominant forcing for waves off the California coast, leading to relatively short period waves (8-10 s) that come predominantly from the north–northwest. The wave climatology throughout the California Current region shows average significant wave heights exceeding 2 m during most of the year, which may have implications for the planning and retrieval methods of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission.

Crosby, SC, Cornuelle BD, O'Reilly WC, Guza RT.  2017.  Assimilating Global Wave Model Predictions and Deep-Water Wave Observations in Nearshore Swell Predictions. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 34:1823-1836.   10.1175/jtech-d-17-0003.1   AbstractWebsite

Nearshore wave predictions with high resolution in space and time are needed for boating safety, to assess flood risk, and to support nearshore processes research. This study presents methods for improving regional nearshore predictions of swell-band wave energy (0.04-0.09 Hz) by assimilating local buoy observations into a linear wave propagation model with a priori guidance from global WAVEWATCH III (WW3) model predictions. Linear wave propagation, including depth-induced refraction and shoaling, and travel time lags, is modeled with self-adjoint backward ray tracing techniques. The Bayesian assimilation yields smooth, high-resolution offshore wave directional spectra that are consistent with WW3, and with offshore and local buoy observations. Case studies in the Southern California Bight (SCB) confirm that the nearshore predictions at independent (nonassimilated) buoy sites are improved by assimilation compared with predictions driven with WW3 or with a single offshore buoy. These assimilation techniques, valid in regions and frequency bands where wave energy propagation is mostly linear, use significantly less computational resources than nonlinear models and variational methods, and could be a useful component of a larger regional assimilation program. Where buoy locations have historically been selected to meet local needs, these methods can aid in the design of regional buoy arrays by quantifying the regional skill improvement for a given buoy observation and identifying both high-value and redundant observations. Assimilation techniques also identify likely forward model error in the Santa Barbara Channel, where permanent observations or model corrections are needed.

Verdy, A, Cornuelle B, Mazloff MR, Rudnick DL.  2017.  Estimation of the tropical Pacific Ocean state 2010-13. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 34:1501-1517.   10.1175/jtech-d-16-0223.1   AbstractWebsite

A data-assimilating 1/38 regional dynamical ocean model is evaluated on its ability to synthesize components of the Tropical Pacific Ocean Observing System. The four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4DVAR) method adjusts initial conditions and atmospheric forcing for overlapping 4-month model runs, or hindcasts, that are then combined to give an ocean state estimate for the period 2010-13. Consistency within uncertainty with satellite SSH and Argo profiles is achieved. Comparison to independent observations from Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) moorings shows that for time scales shorter than 100 days, the state estimate improves estimates of TAO temperature relative to an optimally interpolated Argo product. The improvement is greater at time scales shorter than 20 days, although unpredicted variability in the TAO temperatures implies that TAO observations provide significant information in that band. Larger discrepancies between the state estimate and independent observations from Spray gliders deployed near the Galapagos, Palau, and Solomon Islands are attributed to insufficient model resolution to capture the dynamics in strong current regions and near coasts. The sea surface height forecast skill of the model is assessed. Model forecasts using climatological forcing and boundary conditions are more skillful than climatology out to 50 days compared to persistence, which is a more skillful forecast than climatology out to approximately 20 days. Hindcasts using reanalysis products for atmospheric forcing and open boundary conditions are more skillful than climatology for approximately 120 days or longer, with the exact time scale depending on the accuracy of the state estimate used for initializing and on the reanalysis forcing. Estimating the model representational error is a goal of these experiments.

Wolfe, CL, Cessi P, Cornuelle BD.  2017.  An intrinsic mode of interannual variability in the Indian Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 47:701-719.   10.1175/jpo-d-16-0177.1   AbstractWebsite

An intrinsic mode of self-sustained, interannual variability is identified in a coarse-resolution ocean model forced by an annually repeating atmospheric state. The variability has maximumloading in the Indian Ocean, with a significant projection into the South Atlantic Ocean. It is argued that this intrinsic mode is caused by baroclinic instability of the model's Leeuwin Current, which radiates out to the tropical Indian and South Atlantic Oceans as long Rossby waves at a period of 4 yr. This previously undescribed mode has a remarkably narrowband time series. However, the variability is not synchronized with the annual cycle; the phase of the oscillation varies chaotically on decadal time scales. The presence of this internal mode reduces the predictability of the ocean circulation by obscuring the response to forcing or initial condition perturbations. The signature of this mode can be seen in higher-resolution global ocean models driven by high-frequency atmospheric forcing, but altimeter and assimilation analyses do not show obvious signatures of such a mode, perhaps because of insufficient duration.

Sagen, H, Worcester PF, Dzieciuch MA, Geyer F, Sandven S, Babiker M, Beszczynska-Moller A, Dushaw BD, Cornuelle B.  2017.  Resolution, identification, and stability of broadband acoustic arrivals in Fram Strait. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 141:2055-2068.   10.1121/1.4978780   AbstractWebsite

An ocean acoustic tomography system consisting of three moorings with low frequency, broad-band transceivers and a moored receiver located approximately in the center of the triangle formed by the transceivers was installed in the central, deep-water part of Fram Strait during 2010-2012. Comparisons of the acoustic receptions with predictions based on hydrographic sections show that the oceanographic conditions in Fram Strait result in complex arrival patterns in which it is difficult to resolve and identify individual arrivals. In addition, the early arrivals are unstable, with the arrival structures changing significantly over time. The stability parameter a suggests that the instability is likely not due to small-scale variability, but rather points toward strong mesoscale variability in the presence of a relatively weak sound channel as being largely responsible. The estimator-correlator [Dzieciuch, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 136, 2512-2522 (2014)] is shown to provide an objective formalism for generating travel-time series given the complex propagation conditions. Because travel times obtained from the estimator-correlator are not associated with resolved, identified ray arrivals, inverse methods are needed that do not use sampling kernels constructed from geometric ray paths. One possible approach would be to use travel-time sensitivity kernels constructed for the estimator-correlator outputs. (C) 2017 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Verlinden, CMA, Sarkar J, Cornuelle BD, Kuperman WA.  2017.  Determination of acoustic waveguide invariant using ships as sources of opportunity in a shallow water marine environment. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 141:EL102-EL107.   10.1121/1.4976112   AbstractWebsite

The waveguide invariant (WGI) is a property that can be used to localize acoustic radiators and extract information about the environment. Here the WGI is determined using ships as sources of opportunity, tracked using the Automatic Identification System (AIS). The relationship between range, acoustic intensity, and frequency for a ship in a known position is used to determine the WGI parameter beta. These b values are interpolated and a map of b is generated. The method is demonstrated using data collected in a field experiment on a single hydrophone in a shallow water environment off the coast of Southern California. (C) 2017 Acoustical Society of America

2016
Ubelmann, C, Cornuelle B, Fu LL.  2016.  Dynamic mapping of along-track ocean altimetry: Method and performance from observing system simulation experiments. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 33:1691-1699.   10.1175/jtech-d-15-0163.1   AbstractWebsite

Simulated along-track ocean altimetry data were used to implement the use of a nonlinear dynamic propagator to perform three-dimensional (time and 2D space) interpolation of mesoscale sea surface height (SSH). The method is an inverse approach to processing altimetry data unevenly sampled in time and space into high-level gridded altimetry maps. The inverse approach, similar to the standard objective mapping, contains some correction terms to the innovation vectors to account for nonlinear dynamics. Another key improvement is to solve for the covariance functions through a Green's function approach. From the Observing System Simulation Experiments carried out to simulate a three-satellite constellation over the Gulf Stream region, the new method can significantly reduce mapping errors and improve the resolving capabilities compared to the standard linear objective analysis such as that used by the AVISO gridding.

Sabra, KG, Cornuelle B, Kuperman WA.  2016.  Sensing deep-ocean temperatures. Physics Today. 69:32-38. AbstractWebsite

Though not yet widely implemented, the technique of monitoring the ocean's warming via changes in the speed of sound through the water is a powerful complement to the more common tools available: free-floating thermometers and altimetry satellites.

2015
Lien, RC, Ma B, Lee CM, Sanford TB, Mensah V, Centurioni LR, Cornuelle BD, Gopalakrishnan G, Gordon AL, Chang MH, Jayne SR, Yang YJ.  2015.  The Kuroshio and Luzon undercurrent east of Luzon Island. Oceanography. 28:54-63.   10.5670/oceanog.2015.81   AbstractWebsite

Current structure, transport, and water mass properties of the northward-flowing Kuroshio and the southward-flowing Luzon Undercurrent (LU) were observed for nearly one year, June 8, 2012-June 4, 2013, across the Kuroshio path at 18.75 degrees N. Observations were made from four platforms: an array of six subsurface ADCP moorings, two Seagliders, fivepressure inverted echo sounders (PIES), and five horizontal electric field (HEF) sensors, providing the most detailed time series of the Kuroshio and Luzon Undercurrent water properties to date. Ocean state estimates of the western boundary current system were performed using the MIT general circulation model-four-dimensional variational assimilation (MITgcm-4D-Var) system. Prominent Kuroshio features from observations are simulated well by the numerical model. Annual mean Kuroshio transport, averaged over all platforms, is similar to 16 Sv with a standard deviation similar to 4 Sv. Kuroshio and LU transports and water mass pathways east of Luzon are revealed by Seaglider measurements. In a layer above the salinity maximum associated with North Pacific Tropical Water (NPTW), Kuroshio transport is similar to 7 Sv and contains North Equatorial Current (NEC) and Western Philippine Sea (WPS) waters, with an insignificant amount of South China Sea water on the shallow western flank. In an intermediate layer containing the core of the NPTW, Kuroshio transport is similar to 10 Sv, consisting mostly of NEC water. In the lower layer of the Kuroshio, transport is similar to 1.5 Sv of mostly North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) as a part of WPS waters. Annual mean Luzon Undercurrent southward transport integrated to 1,000 m depth is similar to 2.7 Sv with a standard deviation similar to 2 Sv, carrying solely WPS waters below the salinity minimum of the NPIW. The transport of the western boundary current integrated over the full ocean depth east of Luzon Island is similar to 14 +/- 4.5 Sv. Sources of the water masses in the Kuroshio and Luzon Undercurrent are confirmed qualitatively by the numerical model.

Schonau, MC, Rudnick DL, Cerovecki I, Gopalakrishnan G, Cornuelle BD, McClean JL, Qiu B.  2015.  The Mindanao Current mean structure and connectivity. Oceanography. 28:34-45.   10.5670/oceanog.2015.79   AbstractWebsite

The Mindanao Current (MC), a low-latitude western boundary current in the Pacific Ocean, plays an important role in heat and freshwater transport to the western Pacific warm pool and the Indian Ocean. However, there have been relatively few comprehensive studies of the structure and variability of the MC and its connectivity to regional circulation. The Origins of the Kuroshio and Mindanao Current (OKMC) initiative combines four years of glider observations of the MC, a historical conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD)/float climatology, and results from a global strongly eddying forward ocean general circulation model simulation and a regional ocean state estimate. The MC is resolved as a strong southward current primarily within the upper 200 m, approaching 1 m s(-1), and extending roughly 300 km offshore of Mindanao. Observations and model simulations show a persistent northward Mindanao Undercurrent (MUC) below the thermocline. The MC transports water masses of North Pacific origin southward, while the MUC carries water with South Pacific characteristics northward. The subthermocline transport of the MC and the MUC is connected to other undercurrents in the Philippine Sea. The variability of this transport is a topic of continuing research.

Qiu, B, Rudnick DL, Cerovecki I, Cornuelle BD, Chen S, Schonau MC, McClean JL, Gopalakrishnan G.  2015.  The Pacific North Equatorial Current: New insights from the Origins of the Kuroshio and Mindanao Currents (OKMC) Project. Oceanography. 28:24-33.   10.5670/oceanog.2015.78   AbstractWebsite

Located at the crossroads of the tropical and subtropical circulations, the westward-flowing North Equatorial Current (NEC) and its subsequent bifurcation off the Philippine coast near 13 degrees N serve as important pathways for heat and water mass exchanges between the mid- and low-latitude North Pacific Ocean. Because the western Pacific warm pool, with sea surface temperatures > 28 degrees C, extends poleward of 17 degrees N in the western North Pacific, the bifurcation and transport partitioning of the NEC into the Kuroshio and Mindanao Currents are likely to affect the temporal evolution of the warm pool through lateral advection. In addition to its influence on physical conditions, NEC variability is also important to the regional biological properties and the fisheries along the Philippine coast and in the western Pacific Ocean. This article synthesizes our current understandings of the NEC, especially those garnered through the recent Origins of the Kuroshio and Mindanao Current (OKMC) project.

Kim, SY, Cornuelle BD.  2015.  Coastal ocean climatology of temperature and salinity off the Southern California Bight: Seasonal variability, climate index correlation, and linear trend. Progress in Oceanography. 138:136-157.   10.1016/j.pocean.2015.08.001   AbstractWebsite

A coastal ocean climatology of temperature and salinity in the Southern California Bight is estimated from conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) and bottle sample profiles collected by historical California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI) cruises (1950-2009; quarterly after 1984) off southern California and quarterly/monthly nearshore CTD surveys (within 30 km from the coast except for the surfzone; 1999-2009) off San Diego and Los Angeles. As these fields are sampled regularly in space, but not in time, conventional Fourier analysis may not be possible. The time dependent temperature and salinity fields are modeled as linear combinations of an annual cycle and its five harmonics, as well as three standard climate indices (El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO)), the Scripps Pier temperature time series, and a mean and linear trend without time lags. Since several of the predictor indices are correlated, the indices are successively orthogonalized to eliminate ambiguity in the identification of the contributed variance of each component. Regression coefficients are displayed in both vertical transects and horizontal maps to evaluate (1) whether the temporal and spatial scales of the two data sets of nearshore and offshore observations are consistent and (2) how oceanic variability at a regional scale is related to variability in the nearshore waters. The data-derived climatology can be used to identify anomalous events and atypical behaviors in regional-scale oceanic variability and to provide background ocean estimates for mapping or modeling. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Fujii, Y, Cummings J, Xue Y, Schiller A, Lee T, Balmaseda MA, Remy E, Masuda S, Brassington G, Alves O, Cornuelle B, Martin M, Oke P, Smith G, Yang XS.  2015.  Evaluation of the Tropical Pacific Observing System from the ocean data assimilation perspective. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 141:2481-2496.   10.1002/qj.2579   AbstractWebsite

The drastic reduction in the number of observation data from the Tropical Atmospheric Ocean (TAO)/Triangle Trans-Ocean Buoy Network (TRITON) array since 2012 has given rise to a need to assess the impact of those data in ocean data assimilation (DA) systems. This article provides a review of existing studies evaluating the impacts of data from the TAO/TRITON array and other components of the Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS) on current ocean DA systems used for a variety of operational and research applications. It can be considered as background information that can guide the evaluation exercise of TPOS. Temperature data from TAO/TRITON array are assimilated in most ocean DA systems which cover the tropical Pacific in order to constrain the ocean heat content, stratification, and circulation. It is shown that the impacts of observation data depend considerably on the system and application. The presence of model error often makes the results difficult to interpret. Nevertheless there is consensus that the data from TAO/TRITON generally have positive impacts complementary to Argo floats. In the equatorial Pacific, the impacts are generally around the same level or larger than those of Argo. We therefore conclude that, with the current configuration of TPOS, the loss of the TAO/TRITON data is having a significant detrimental impact on many applications based on ocean DA systems. This conclusion needs to be kept under review because the equatorial coverage by Argo is expected to improve in the future.

Gasparin, F, Roemmich D, Gilson J, Cornuelle B.  2015.  Assessment of the upper-ocean observing system in the equatorial Pacific: The role of Argo in resolving intraseasonal to interannual variability*. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 32:1668-1688.   10.1175/jtech-d-14-00218.1   AbstractWebsite

Using more than 10 years of Argo temperature and salinity profiles (2004-14), a new optimal interpolation (OI) of the upper ocean in the equatorial Pacific is presented. Following Roemmich and Gilson's procedures, which were formulated for describing monthly large-scale anomalies, here every 5 days anomaly fields are constructed with improvements in the OI spatial covariance function and by including the time domain. The comparison of Argo maps with independent observations, from the TAO/TRITON array, and with satellite sea surface height (SSH), demonstrates that Argo is able to represent around 70%-80% of the variance at intraseasonal time scales (periods of 20-100 days) and more than 90% of the variance for the seasonal-to-longer-term variability. The RMS difference between Argo and TAO/TRITON temperatures is lower than 1 degrees C and is around 1.5 cm when the Argo steric height is compared to SSH. This study also assesses the efficacy of different observing system components and combinations, such as SSH, TAO/TRITON, and Argo, for estimating subsurface temperature. Salinity investigations demonstrate its critical importance for density near the surface in the western Pacific. Objective error estimates from the OI are used to evaluate different sampling strategies, such as the recent deployment of 41 Argo floats along the Pacific equator. Argo's high spatial resolution compared with that of the moored array makes it better suited for studying spatial patterns of variability and propagation on intraseasonal and longer periods, but it is less well suited for studying variability on periods shorter than 20 days at point locations. This work is a step toward better utilization of existing datasets, including Argo, and toward redesigning the Tropical Pacific Observing System.

Furue, R, Jia YL, McCreary JP, Schneider N, Richards KJ, Muller P, Cornuelle BD, Avellaneda NM, Stammer D, Liu CY, Kohl A.  2015.  Impacts of regional mixing on the temperature structure of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Part 1: Vertically uniform vertical diffusion. Ocean Modelling. 91:91-111.   10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.10.002   AbstractWebsite

We investigate the sensitivity of numerical model solutions to regional changes in vertical diffusion. Specifically, we vary the background diffusion coefficient, kappa(b), within spatially distinct subregions of the tropical Pacific, assess the impacts of those changes, and diagnose the processes that account for them. Solutions respond to a diffusion anomaly, delta kappa(b), in three ways. Initially, there is a fast response (several months), due to the interaction of rapidly propagating, barotropic and gravity waves with eddies and other mesoscale features. It is followed by a local response (roughly one year), the initial growth and spatial pattern of which can be explained by one-dimensional (vertical) diffusion. At this stage, temperature and salinity anomalies are generated that are either associated with a change in density ("dynamical" anomalies) or without one ("spiciness" anomalies). In a final adjustment stage, the dynamical and spiciness anomalies spread to remote regions by radiation of Rossby and Kelvin waves and by advection, respectively. In near equilibrium solutions, dynamical anomalies are generally much larger in the latitude band of the forcing, but the impact of off equatorial forcing by delta kappa(b) on the equatorial temperature structure is still significant. Spiciness anomalies spread equator ward within the pycnocline, where they are carried to the equator as part of the subsurface branch of the Pacific Subtropical Cells, and spiciness also extends to the equator via western-boundary currents. Forcing near and at the equator generates strong dynamical anomalies, and sometimes additional spiciness anomalies, at pycnocline depths. The total response of the equatorial temperature structure to delta kappa(b) in various regions depends on the strength and spatial pattern of the generation of each signal within the forcing region as well as On the processes of its spreading to the equator.

Fontan, A, Cornuelle B.  2015.  Anisotropic response of surface circulation to wind forcing, as inferred from high-frequency radar currents in the southeastern Bay of Biscay. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 120:2945-2957.   10.1002/2014jc010671   AbstractWebsite

The short-term (less than 20 days) response of surface circulation to wind has been determined in waters of the southeastern Bay of Biscay, using wind impulse response (time domain) and transfer (frequency domain) functions relating high-frequency radar currents and reanalysis winds. The response of surface currents is amplified at the near-inertial frequency and the low-frequency and it varies spatially. The analysis indicates that the response of the ocean to the wind is slightly anisotropic, likely due to pressure gradients and friction induced by the bottom and coastline boundaries in this region. Thus, the transfer function at the near-inertial frequency decreases onshore due to the coastline inhibition of circularly polarized near-inertial motion. In contrast, the low-frequency transfer function is enhanced toward the coast as a result of the geostrophic balance between the cross-shore pressure gradient and the Coriolis forces. The transfer functions also vary with season. In summer, the current response to wind is expected to be stronger but shallower due to stratification; in winter, the larger mixed layer depth results in a weaker but deeper response. The results obtained are consistent with the theoretical description of wind-driven circulation and can be used to develop a statistical model with a broad range of applications including accurate oceanic forecasting and understanding of the coupled atmosphere-ocean influence on marine ecosystems.

Rudnick, DL, Gopalakrishnan G, Cornuelle BD.  2015.  Cyclonic eddies in the Gulf of Mexico: Observations by underwater gliders and simulations by numerical model. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 45:313-326.   10.1175/jpo-d-14-0138.1   AbstractWebsite

Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is dominated by the Loop Current (LC) and by Loop Current eddies (LCEs) that form at irregular multimonth intervals by separation from the LC. Comparatively small cyclonic eddies (CEs) are thought to have a controlling influence on the LCE, including its separation from the LC. Because the CEs are so dynamic and short-lived, lasting only a few weeks, they have proved a challenge to observe. This study addresses that challenge using underwater gliders. These gliders' data and satellite sea surface height (SSH) are used in a four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) assimilation in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) general circulation model (MITgcm). The model serves two purposes: first, the model's estimate of ocean state allows the analysis of four-dimensional fields, and second, the model forecasts are examined to determine the value of glider data. CEs have a Rossby number of about 0.2, implying that the effects of flow curvature, cyclostrophy, to modify the geostrophic momentum balance are slight. The velocity field in CEs is nearly depth independent, while LCEs are more baroclinic, consistent with the CEs origin on the less stratified, dense side of the LCE. CEs are formed from water in the GoM, rather than the Atlantic water that distinguishes the LCE. Model forecasts are improved by glider data, using a quality metric based on satellite SSH, with the best 2-month GoM forecast rivaling the accuracy of a global hindcast.

Edwards, CA, Moore AM, Hoteit I, Cornuelle BD.  2015.  Regional ocean data assimilation. Annual Review of Marine Science, Vol 7. 7:21-42.   10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015821   AbstractWebsite

This article reviews the past 15 years of developments in regional ocean data assimilation. A variety of scientific, management, and safety-related objectives motivate marine scientists to characterize many ocean environments, including coastal regions. As in weather prediction, the accurate representation of physical, chemical, and/or biological properties in the ocean is challenging. Models and observations alone provide imperfect representations of the ocean state, but together they can offer improved estimates. Variational and sequential methods are among the most widely used in regional ocean systems, and there have been exciting recent advances in ensemble and four-dimensional variational approaches. These techniques are increasingly being tested and adapted for biogeochemical applications.

2014
Mazloff, MR, Gille ST, Cornuelle B.  2014.  Improving the geoid: Combining altimetry and mean dynamic topography in the California coastal ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 41:8944-8952.   10.1002/2014gl062402   AbstractWebsite

Satellite gravity mapping missions, altimeters, and other platforms have allowed the Earth's geoid to be mapped over the ocean to a horizontal resolution of approximately 100km with an uncertainty of less than 10cm. At finer resolution this uncertainty increases to greater than 10cm. Achieving greater accuracy requires accurate estimates of the dynamic ocean topography (DOT). In this study two DOT estimates for the California Current System with uncertainties less than 10cm are used to solve for a geoid correction field. The derived field increases the consistency between the DOTs and along-track altimetric observations, suggesting it is a useful correction to the gravitational field. The correction is large compared to the dynamic ocean topography, with a magnitude of 15cm and significant structure, especially near the coast. The results are evidence that modern high-resolution dynamic ocean topography products can be used to improve estimates of the geoid.

Orsi, AJ, Cornuelle BD, Severinghaus JP.  2014.  Magnitude and temporal evolution of Dansgaard-Oeschger event 8 abrupt temperature change inferred from nitrogen and argon isotopes in GISP2 ice using a new least-squares inversion. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 395:81-90.   10.1016/j.epsl.2014.03.030   AbstractWebsite

Polar temperature is often inferred from water isotopes in ice cores. However, non-temperature effects on 3180 are important during the abrupt events of the last glacial period, such as changes in the seasonality of precipitation, the northward movement of the storm track, and the increase in accumulation. These effects complicate the interpretation of 8180 as a temperature proxy. Here, we present an independent surface temperature reconstruction, which allows us to test the relationship between delta O-18(ice) and temperature, during Dansgaard-Oeschger event 8, 38.2 thousand yrs ago using new delta N-15 and delta Ar-40 data from the GISP2 ice core in Greenland. This temperature reconstruction relies on a new inversion of inert gas isotope data using generalized least-squares, and includes a robust uncertainty estimation. We find that both temperature and delta O-18 increased in two steps of 20 and 140 yrs, with an overall amplitude of 11.80 +/- 1.8 degrees C between the stadial and interstadial centennial-mean temperature. The coefficient alpha = d delta O-18/dT changes with each time-segment, which shows that non-temperature sources of fractionation have a significant contribution to the delta O-18 signal. When measured on century-averaged values, we find that alpha = d delta O-18/dT = 0.32 +/- 0.06%(0)/degrees C, which is similar to the glacial/Holocene value of 0.328%(o)/degrees C. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Verdy, A, Mazloff MR, Cornuelle BD, Kim SY.  2014.  Wind-driven sea level variability on the California coast: An adjoint sensitivity analysis. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 44:297-318.   10.1175/jpo-d-13-018.1   AbstractWebsite

Effects of atmospheric forcing on coastal sea surface height near Port San Luis, central California, are investigated using a regional state estimate and its adjoint. The physical pathways for the propagation of nonlocal [O(100 km)] wind stress effects are identified through adjoint sensitivity analyses, with a cost function that is localized in space so that the adjoint shows details of the propagation of sensitivities. Transfer functions between wind stress and SSH response are calculated and compared to previous work. It is found that (i) the response to local alongshore wind stress dominates on short time scales of O(1 day); (ii) the effect of nonlocal winds dominates on longer time scales and is carried by coastally trapped waves, as well as inertia-gravity waves for offshore wind stress; and (iii) there are significant seasonal variations in the sensitivity of SSH to wind stress due to changes in stratification. In a more stratified ocean, the damping of sensitivities to local and offshore winds is reduced, allowing for a larger and longer-lasting SSH response to wind stress.