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Subramanian, AC, Miller AJ, Cornuelle BD, Di Lorenzo E, Weller RA, Straneo F.  2013.  A data assimilative perspective of oceanic mesoscale eddy evolution during VOCALS-REx. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 13:3329-3344.   10.5194/acp-13-3329-2013   AbstractWebsite

Oceanic observations collected during the VOCALS-REx cruise time period, 1-30 November 2008, are assimilated into a regional ocean model (ROMS) using 4DVAR and then analyzed for their dynamics. Nonlinearities in the system prevent a complete 30-day fit, so two 15-day fits for 1-15 November and 16-30 November are executed using the available observations of hydrographic temperature and salinity, along with satellite fields of SST and sea-level height anomaly. The fits converge and reduce the cost function significantly, and the results indicated that ROMS is able to successfully reproduce both large-scale and smaller-scale features of the flows observed during the VOCALS-REx cruise. Particular attention is focused on an intensively studied eddy at 76 degrees W, 19 degrees S. The ROMS fits capture this eddy as an isolated rotating 3-D vortex with a strong subsurface signature in velocity, temperature and anomalously low salinity. The eddy has an average temperature anomaly of approximately -0.5 degrees C over a depth range from 50-600 m and features a cold anomaly of approximately -1 degrees C near 150 m depth. The eddy moves northwestward and elongates during the second 15-day fit. It exhibits a strong signature in the Okubo-Weiss parameter, which indicates significant non-linearity in its evolution. The heat balance for the period of the cruise from the ocean state estimate reveals that the horizontal advection and the vertical mixing processes are the dominant terms that balance the temperature tendency of the upper layer of the ocean locally in time and space. Areal averages around the eddies, for a 15-day period during the cruise, suggest that vertical mixing processes generally balance the surface heating. Although, this indicates only a small role for lateral advective processes in this region during this period, this quasi-instantaneous heat budget analysis cannot be extended to interpret the seasonal or long-term upper ocean heat budget in this region.

Dushaw, BD, Worcester PF, Munk WH, Spindel RC, Mercer JA, Howe BM, Metzger K, Birdsall TG, Andrew RK, Dzieciuch MA, Cornuelle BD, Menemenlis D.  2009.  A decade of acoustic thermometry in the North Pacific Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 114   10.1029/2008jc005124   AbstractWebsite

Over the decade 1996-2006, acoustic sources located off central California (1996 1999) and north of Kauai (1997-1999, 2002-2006) transmitted to receivers distributed throughout the northeast and north central Pacific. The acoustic travel times are inherently spatially integrating, which suppresses mesoscale variability and provides a precise measure of ray-averaged temperature. Daily average travel times at 4-day intervals provide excellent temporal resolution of the large-scale thermal field. The interannual, seasonal, and shorter-period variability is large, with substantial changes sometimes occurring in only a few weeks. Linear trends estimated over the decade are small compared to the interannual variability and inconsistent from path to path, with some acoustic paths warming slightly and others cooling slightly. The measured travel times are compared with travel times derived from four independent estimates of the North Pacific: (1) climatology, as represented by the World Ocean Atlas 2005 (WOA05); (2) objective analysis of the upper-ocean temperature field derived from satellite altimetry and in situ profiles; (3) an analysis provided by the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean project, as implemented at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL-ECCO); and (4) simulation results from a high-resolution configuration of the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) model. The acoustic data show that WOA05 is a better estimate of the time mean hydrography than either the JPL-ECCO or the POP estimates, both of which proved incapable of reproducing the observed acoustic arrival patterns. The comparisons of time series provide a stringent test of the large-scale temperature variability in the models. The differences are sometimes substantial, indicating that acoustic thermometry data can provide significant additional constraints for numerical ocean models.

Kim, SY, Cornuelle BD, Terrill EJ.  2010.  Decomposing observations of high-frequency radar-derived surface currents by their forcing mechanisms: Decomposition techniques and spatial structures of decomposed surface currents. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 115   10.1029/2010jc006222   AbstractWebsite

Surface current observations from a high-frequency radar network deployed in southern San Diego are decomposed according to their driving forces: pure tides and their neighboring off-band energy, local winds, and low frequency. Several superposed ocean responses are present as a result of the complicated bottom topography and relatively weak winds off southern San Diego, as opposed to coastal regions where circulation can be explained by a dominant forcing mechanism. This necessitates an application of a statistical decomposition approach. Surface currents coherent with pure tides are calculated using harmonic analysis. Locally wind-driven surface currents are estimated by regression of observed winds on observed surface currents. The dewinded and detided surface currents are filtered by weighted least-squares fitting assuming white noise and three colored signal bands: low-frequency band (less than 0.4 cycles per day) and near-tidal peaks at the diurnal (K-1) and semidiurnal (M-2) frequencies. The spatial and temporal variability of each part of the decomposed surface currents is investigated in terms of ocean response to the driving forces. In addition, the spatial correlations of individual components exhibit Gaussian and exponential shapes with varying decorrelation length scales.

Kim, SY, Cornuelle BD, Terrill EJ.  2010.  Decomposing observations of high-frequency radar-derived surface currents by their forcing mechanisms: Locally wind-driven surface currents. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 115   10.1029/2010jc006223   AbstractWebsite

The wind impulse response function and transfer function for high-frequency radar-derived surface currents off southern San Diego are calculated using several local wind observations. The spatial map of the transfer function reflects the influence of the coast on wind-current dynamics. Near the coast (within 20 km from the shoreline), the amplitudes of the transfer function at inertial and diurnal frequencies are reduced due to effects of coastline and bottom bathymetry. Meanwhile, the amplitude of low-frequency currents increases near the coast, which is attributed to the local geostrophic balance between cross-shore pressure gradients against the coast and currents. Locally wind-driven surface currents are estimated from the data-derived response function, and their power spectrum shows a strong diurnal peak superposed on a red spectrum, similar to the spectra of observed winds. Current magnitudes and veering angles to a quasi-steady wind are typically 2-5% of the wind speed and vary 50 degrees-90 degrees to the right of the wind, respectively. A wind skill map is introduced to present the fractional variance of surface currents explained by local winds as a verification tool for wind data quality and relevance. Moreover, the transfer functions in summer and winter are presented to examine the seasonal variation in ocean surface current response to the wind associated with stratification change.

Behringer, D, Birdsall T, Brown M, Cornuelle B, Heinmiller R, Knox R, Metzger K, Munk W, Spiesberger J, Spindel R, Webb D, Worcester P, Wunsch C.  1982.  A demonstration of ocean acoustic tomography. Nature. 299:121-125.   10.1038/299121a0   AbstractWebsite

Over the past decade oceanographers have become increasingly aware of an intense and compact ocean ‘mesoscale’ eddy structure (the ocean weather) that is superimposed on a generally sluggish large-scale circulation (the ocean climate). Traditional ship-based observing systems are not adequate for monitoring the ocean at mesoscale resolution. A 1981 experiment mapped the waters within a 300 × 300 km square south-west of Bermuda, using a peripheral array of moored midwater acoustic sources and receivers. The variable acoustic travel times between all source–receiver pairs were used to construct the three-dimensional (time-variable) eddy fields, using inverse theory. Preliminary results from inversions are consistent with the shipborne and airborne surveys.

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

Roemmich, D, Cornuelle B.  1987.  Digitization and Calibration of the Expendable Bathythermograph. Deep-Sea Research Part a-Oceanographic Research Papers. 34:299-307.   10.1016/0198-0149(87)90088-4   AbstractWebsite

A study was undertaken of signal digitization and temperature calibration in expendable bathythermographs (XBT's) to learn how to minimize temperature errors in that system. An XBT digitizer was built into a PC-type microcomputer and used to calibrate 24 XBT probes at 5 temperature points, and later, to calibrate 72 probes at a single temperature. Twenty of the first set of probes were fastened rigidly in pairs and dropped in the ocean as a field test of the calibrations. Calibration of individual probes reduced the standard deviation of temperature calibration errors from around 0.05°C to <0.01°C. The calibration procedure is simple and nondestructive, so the probes can be used normally after calibration. Errors in the temperature digitizer can be held to about 0.01°C by periodic adjustment. An advantage of the PC-based digitizer is the ease with which the calibrations are accomplished and applied to the ocean tracers. Two substantial sources of transient systematic error in XBT temperatures are mentioned: an electronic transient lasting about 0.1 s occurs on entry of the probe into seawater, and a longer transient is due to the thermal mass of the XBT nose.

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.