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Journal Article
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.

Gawarkiewicz, G, Jan S, Lermusiaux PFJ, McClean JL, Centurioni L, Taylor K, Cornuelle B, Duda TF, Wang J, Yang YJ, Sanford T, Lien RC, Lee C, Lee MA, Leslie W, Haley PJ, Niiler PP, Gopalakrishnan G, Velez-Belchi P, Lee DK, Kim YY.  2011.  Circulation and Intrusions Northeast of Taiwan: Chasing and Predicting Uncertainty in the Cold Dome. Oceanography. 24:110-121. AbstractWebsite

An important element of present oceanographic research is the assessment and quantification of uncertainty. These studies are challenging in the coastal ocean due to the wide variety of physical processes occurring on a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. In order to assess new methods for quantifying and predicting uncertainty, a joint Taiwan-US field program was undertaken in August/September 2009 to compare model forecasts of uncertainties in ocean circulation and acoustic propagation, with high-resolution in situ observations. The geographical setting was the continental shelf and slope northeast of Taiwan, where a feature called the "cold dome" frequently forms. Even though it is hypothesized that Kuroshio subsurface intrusions are the water sources for the cold dome, the dome's dynamics are highly uncertain, involving multiple scales and many interacting ocean features. During the experiment, a combination of near-surface and profiling drifters, broad-scale and high-resolution hydrography, mooring arrays, remote sensing, and regional ocean model forecasts of fields and uncertainties were used to assess mean fields and uncertainties in the region. River runoff from Typhoon Morakot, which hit Taiwan August 7-8, 2009, strongly affected shelf stratification. In addition to the river runoff, a cold cyclonic eddy advected into the region north of the Kuroshio, resulting in a cold dome formation event. Uncertainty forecasts were successfully employed to guide the hydrographic sampling plans. Measurements and forecasts also shed light on the evolution of cold dome waters, including the frequency of eddy shedding to the north-northeast, and interactions with the Kuroshio and tides. For the first time in such a complex region, comparisons between uncertainty forecasts and the model skill at measurement locations validated uncertainty forecasts. To complement the real-time model simulations, historical simulations with another model show that large Kuroshio intrusions were associated with low sea surface height anomalies east of Taiwan, suggesting that there may be some degree of predictability for Kuroshio intrusions.

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.

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

Vera, MD, Heaney KD, Grp N.  2005.  The effect of bottom interaction on transmissions from the North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory Kauai source. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 117:1624-1634.   10.1121/1.1854491   AbstractWebsite

Acoustic signals transmitted from a 75-Hz broadband source near Kauai as part of the North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL), experiment were recorded on an array of receivers near California at a range of 3890 km, and on a vertical line array at a range of 3336 km in the Gulf of Alaska. Because the source is approximately 2 m above the seafloor, and the bottom depth at the receivers near California is approximately 1800 m, acoustic interaction with the bathymetry complicates the identification of the recorded arrivals with those present in numerical simulations of the experiment. Ray methods were used to categorize acoustic energy according to interactions with the sea bottom and surface and to examine the significance of seafloor geometry. A modal decomposition was also used to examine the role of range-dependent bathymetry and to associate the effects on the acoustic field with seafloor features at specific ranges. Parabolic-equation simulations were performed in order to investigate the sensitivity of the received signal to geoacoustic parameters; shear excitations within the seafloor were modeled using a complex-density, equivalent-fluid technique. Incorporation of bottom interaction into models of the propagation enables an identification between experimental and simulated arrivals. (c) 2005 Acoustical Society of America.

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.

Colosi, JA, Van Uffelen LJ, Cornuelle BD, Dzieciuch MA, Worcester PF, Dushaw BD, Ramp SR.  2013.  Observations of sound-speed fluctuations in the western Philippine Sea in the spring of 2009. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 134:3185-3200.   10.1121/1.4818784   AbstractWebsite

As an aid to understanding long-range acoustic propagation in the Philippine Sea, statistical and phenomenological descriptions of sound-speed variations were developed. Two moorings of oceanographic sensors located in the western Philippine Sea in the spring of 2009 were used to track constant potential-density surfaces (isopycnals) and constant potential-temperature surfaces (isotherms) in the depth range 120-2000 m. The vertical displacements of these surfaces are used to estimate sound-speed fluctuations from internal waves, while temperature/salinity variability along isopycnals are used to estimate sound-speed fluctuations from intrusive structure often termed spice. Frequency spectra and vertical covariance functions are used to describe the space-time scales of the displacements and spiciness. Internal-wave contributions from diurnal and semi-diurnal internal tides and the diffuse internal-wave field [related to the Garrett-Munk (GM) spectrum] are found to dominate the sound-speed variability. Spice fluctuations are weak in comparison. The internal wave and spice frequency spectra have similar form in the upper ocean but are markedly different below 170-m depth. Diffuse internal-wave mode spectra show a form similar to the GM model, while internal-tide mode spectra scale as mode number to the minus two power. Spice decorrelates rapidly with depth, with a typical correlation scale of tens of meters.

Heimbach, P, Fukumori I, Hills CN, Ponte RM, Stammer D, Wunsch C, Campin JM, Cornuelle B, Fenty I, Forget G, Kohl A, Mazloff M, Menemenlis D, Nguyen AT, Piecuch C, Trossman D, Verdy A, Wang O, Zhang H.  2019.  Putting it all together: Adding value to the global ocean and climate observing systems with complete self-consistent ocean state and parameter estimates. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6   10.3389/fmars.2019.00055   AbstractWebsite

In 1999, the consortium on Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) set out to synthesize the hydrographic data collected by the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and the satellite sea surface height measurements into a complete and coherent description of the ocean, afforded by an ocean general circulation model. Twenty years later, the versatility of ECCO's estimation framework enables the production of global and regional ocean and sea-ice state estimates, that incorporate not only the initial suite of data and its successors, but nearly all data streams available today. New observations include measurements from Argo floats, marine mammal-based hydrography, satellite retrievals of ocean bottom pressure and sea surface salinity, as well as ice-tethered profiled data in polar regions. The framework also produces improved estimates of uncertain inputs, including initial conditions, surface atmospheric state variables, and mixing parameters. The freely available state estimates and related efforts are property-conserving, allowing closed budget calculations that are a requisite to detect, quantify, and understand the evolution of climate-relevant signals, as mandated by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) protocol. The solutions can be reproduced by users through provision of the underlying modeling and assimilation machinery. Regional efforts have spun off that offer increased spatial resolution to better resolve relevant processes. Emerging foci of ECCO are on a global sea level changes, in particular contributions from polar ice sheets, and the increased use of biogeochemical and ecosystem data to constrain global cycles of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Challenges in the coming decade include provision of uncertainties, informing observing system design, globally increased resolution, and moving toward a coupled Earth system estimation with consistent momentum, heat and freshwater fluxes between the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and land.

Moore, AM, Martini MJ, Akella S, Arango HG, Balmaseda M, Bertino L, Ciavatta S, Cornuelle B, Cummings J, Frolov S, Lermusiaux P, Oddo P, Oke PR, Storto A, Teruzzi A, Vidard A, Weaver AT, Assimilation GOVD.  2019.  Synthesis of ocean observations using data assimilation for operational, real-time and reanalysis systems: A more complete picture of the state of the ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6   10.3389/fmars.2019.00090   AbstractWebsite

Ocean data assimilation is increasingly recognized as crucial for the accuracy of real-time ocean prediction systems and historical re-analyses. The current status of ocean data assimilation in support of the operational demands of analysis, forecasting and reanalysis is reviewed, focusing on methods currently adopted in operational and real-time prediction systems. Significant challenges associated with the most commonly employed approaches are identified and discussed. Overarching issues faced by ocean data assimilation are also addressed, and important future directions in response to scientific advances, evolving and forthcoming ocean observing systems and the needs of stakeholders and downstream applications are discussed.

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.