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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.

Sohn, RA, Webb SC, Hildebrand JA, Cornuelle BD.  1997.  Three-dimensional tomographic velocity structure of upper crust, CoAxial segment, Juan de Fuca ridge: Implications for on-axis evolution and hydrothermal circulation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 102:17679-17695.   10.1029/97jb00592   AbstractWebsite

Three-dimensional models of compressional velocity and azimuthal anisotropy from tomographic inversions using 23,564 ocean bottom seismometer P wave arrivals define systematic lateral variations in seismic structure of the CoAxial segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge (JdFR). Over much of the segment the across-axis structure is roughly axisymmetric, characterized by a progressive increase in dike velocities moving away from the ridge axis. This trend is most apparent in the basal dikes, where on-axis velocities are about 800 m/s slower than those measured elsewhere within the rift valley. The on-axis sheeted dikes also exhibit ridge-oriented azimuthal anisotropy, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of about 600 m/s. Outboard of the rift valley, beneath ridge flanks with fault scarps, velocities in the upper 1500 m of crust are reduced. The maximum amplitude of this anomaly is about 700 m/s, located near the top of the sheeted dikes. Variations in the three-dimensional velocity model are believed to reflect changes in crustal porosity, from which we infer an axisymmetric porosity model for seismic layer 2 of the CoAxial segment. As the crust ages, the evolution of layer 2 porosity could occur in the following way: (1) the porosity of zero-age, on-axis dikes is set at formation by the contraction of molten material, (2) hydrothermal alteration fills pore spaces as the dikes move away from the center of the axial valley, and (3) normal faulting on the ridge flank scarps opens fractures and increases porosity of the upper dikes as they move off-axis. At the north end of the segment, dike velocities are several hundred meters per second slower, on average, and the across-axis structure is lost. The transition from a coherent, aligned seismic structure to a less distinct pattern with reduced velocities may represent a shift from magmatic to amagmatic extension moving away from the Cobb hotspot on the ridge axis. The porosity structure we have derived for the CoAxial segment suggests an alternative to the usual hydrothermal circulation model of cross-axis convection cells. A circulation model with along-axis convection cells located entirely within the axial valley appears to be more compatible with our data.