Publications

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1985
Cornuelle, BD.  1985.  Simulations of Acoustic Tomography Array Performance with Untracked or Drifting Sources and Receivers. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 90:9079-9088.   10.1029/JC090iC05p09079   AbstractWebsite

Ocean tomography as originally proposed required all sources and recievers to be tautly moored and acoustically tracked to separate travel time perturbations due to mooring motion from those due to ocean features. It is possible to process the tomographic travel times to estimate both ocean sound speed perturbations and mooring offsets, effecting a separation without external tracking. A side effect of this processing is a check on the ray identification, since the varying instrument positions can be used as a synthetic array for estimating ray angle. Simulations and examples with actual data were used to contrast mapping performance with and without mooring tracking for a variety of ray data sets. In general, the ocean maps degrade when the tracking data are withheld. However, when many high-precision ray travel time measurements are available, the degradation is small; in these cases it would be possible to deploy free-drifting instruments as part of a monitoring experiment.

1989
Hildebrand, JA, Dorman LM, Hammer PTC, Schreiner AE, Cornuelle BD.  1989.  Seismic tomography of jasper seamount. Geophysical Research Letters. 16:1355-1358.   10.1029/GL016i012p01355   AbstractWebsite

A vertical section of the interior structure of Jasper Seamount was modeled using a spectral tomographic inversion of P wave travel times. An array of ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) deployed over the seamount detected the arrivals from a series of ocean bottom shots. A reference velocity model reveals that average compressional velocities within the seamount are similar to those found within Kilauea and are consistently slower than velocities at equivalent depths in typical oceanic crust. This suggests Jasper Seamount has a high average porosity. Perturbations from the reference model were imaged by tomographic inversion. A high velocity zone within the northwest flank of the seamount may result from dikes associated with a radial rift or from a shallow solidified magma reservoir. A low velocity summit may result from shallow, explosive eruptions. The tomographic model is consistent with the results of gravity, magnetic and dredging analyses.

1990
Cornuelle, B.  1990.  Some practical aspects of ocean acoustic tomography. Oceanographic and geophysical tomography: Les Houches, session L, 1988. ( Desaubies Y, Tarantola A, Zinn-Justin J, Eds.)., Amsterdam: North-Holland Abstract
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1992
Roemmich, D, Cornuelle B.  1992.  The Subtropical Mode Waters of the South-Pacific Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 22:1178-1187.   10.1175/1520-0485(1992)022<1178:tsmwot>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

The subtropical mode waters (STMW) of the southwestern Pacific Ocean are described, including their physical characteristics, spatial distribution, and temporal variability. STMW is a thermostad, or minimum in stratification, having temperatures of about 15-degrees-19-degrees-C and vertical temperature gradient less than about 2-degrees-C per 100 m. Typical salinity is 35.5 psu at 16.5-degrees-C. The STMW layer is formed by deep mixing and cooling in the eastward-flowing waters of the separated East Australia Current. Surface mixed layers are observed as deep as 300 m north of New Zealand in winter, in the center of a recurring anticyclonic eddy. The STMW thermostad in the South Pacific is considerably weaker than its counterparts in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, a contrast that may help to discriminate between physical processes contributing to its formation. A quarterly time series of expendable bathythermograph transects between New Zealand and Fiji is used to study the temporal variability of STMW. Large fluctuations are observed at both annual and subannual periods. Based on the quarterly census of STMW volume, the lifetime of the thermostad is estimated to be of order 1 year. During the years 1986-91 wintertime sea surface and air temperature minima warmed by about 1.5-degrees-C. The volume of STMW decreased dramatically during that period, with the 1989-91 census showing only a small fraction of the 1986-87 STMW volume. The observed fluctuations may be due either to long-period change in air-sea heat exchange or to fluctuations in heat transport by ocean currents.

1994
McDonald, MA, Webb SC, Hildebrand JA, Cornuelle BD, Fox CG.  1994.  Seismic Structure and Anisotropy of the Juan-De-Fuca Ridge at 45-Degrees-N. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 99:4857-4873.   10.1029/93jb02801   AbstractWebsite

A seismic refraction experiment was conducted with air guns and ocean bottom seismometers on the Juan de Fuca Ridge at 45-degrees-N, at the northern Cleft segment and at the overlapping rift zone between the Cleft and Vance segments. These data determine the average velocity structure of the upper crust and map the thickness variability of the shallow low-velocity layer, which we interpret as the extrusive volcanic layer. The experiment is unique because a large number of travel times were measured along ray paths oriented at all azimuths within a small (20 km by 35 km) area. These travel times provide evidence for compressional velocity anisotropy in the upper several hundred meters of oceanic crust, presumed to be caused by ridge-parallel fracturing. Compressional velocities are 3.35 km/s in the ridge strike direction and 2.25 km/s across strike. Travel time residuals are simultaneously inverted for anisotropy as well as lateral thickness variations in the low-velocity layer. Extrusive layer thickness ranges from approximately 200 m to 550 m with an average of 350 m. The zone of the thinnest low-velocity layer is within the northern Cleft segment axial valley, in a region of significant hydrothermal activity. Layer thickness variability is greatest near the Cleft-Vance overlapping rift zone, where changes of 300 m occur over as little as several kilometers laterally. These low-velocity layer thickness changes may correspond to fault block rotations in an episodic spreading system, where the low side of each fault block accumulates more extrusive volcanics.

1995
Duda, TF, Pawlowicz RA, Lynch JF, Cornuelle BD.  1995.  Simulated Tomographic Reconstruction of Ocean Features Using Drifting Acoustic Receivers and a Navigated Source. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 98:2270-2279.   10.1121/1.413341   AbstractWebsite

Numerically simulated acoustic transmission from a single source of known position (for example, suspended from a ship) to receivers of partially known position (for example, sonobuoys dropped from the air) are used for tomographic mapping of ocean sound speed. The maps are evaluated for accuracy and utility. Grids of 16 receivers are employed, with sizes of 150, 300, and 700 km square. Ordinary statistical measures are used to evaluate the pattern similarity and thus the mapping capability of the, system. For an array of 300 km square, quantitative error in the maps grows with receiver position uncertainty. The large and small arrays show lesser mapping capability than the mid-size array. Mapping errors increase with receiver position uncertainty for uncertainties less than 1000-m rms, but uncertainties exceeding that have less systematic effect on the maps. Maps of rms error of the field do not provide a complete view of the utility of the acoustic network. Features of maps are surprisingly reproducible for different navigation error levels, and give comparable information about mesoscale structures despite great variations in those levels. (C) 1995 Acoustical Society of America.

2008
Roux, P, Cornuelle BD, Kuperman WA, Hodgkiss WS.  2008.  The structure of raylike arrivals in a shallow-water waveguide. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 124:3430-3439.   10.1121/1.2996330   AbstractWebsite

Acoustic remote sensing of the oceans requires a detailed understanding of the acoustic forward problem. The results of a shallow-water transmission experiment between a vertical array of sources and a vertical array of receivers are reported. The source array is used to provide additional degrees of freedom to isolate and track raylike arrivals by beamforming over both source and receiver arrays. The coordinated source-receiver array processing procedure is presented and its effectiveness in an example of tracking raylike arrivals in a fluctuating ocean environment is shown. Many of these arrivals can be tracked over an hour or more and show slowly varying amplitude and phase. The use of a double-beamforming algorithm lays the foundation for shallow-water acoustic remote sensing using travel time and source and receive angles of selected eigenrays. (C) 2008 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.2996330]

2011
Skarsoulis, EK, Cornuelle BD, Dzieciuch MA.  2011.  Second-Order Sensitivity of Acoustic Travel Times to Sound Speed Perturbations. Acta Acustica United with Acustica. 97:533-543.   10.3813/aaa.918434   AbstractWebsite

The second-order sensitivity of finite-frequency acoustic travel times to sound speed perturbations in range-independent environments is studied. Using the notion of peak arrivals and the normal-mode representation of the Green's function first- and second-order perturbation expressions are derived for the travel times in terms of the underlying perturbations in the Green's function and finally in the sound speed profile. The resulting theoretical expressions are numerically validated. Assuming small and local perturbations the non-linear effects appear to be strongest for sound speed perturbations taking place close to the lower turning depths of the corresponding eigenrays. At the upper turning depths - in the case of temperate propagation conditions - the effects are much weaker due to the larger sound speed gradients. The magnitude of the second-order sensitivity of travel times relative to the first-order sensitivity can be used to obtain an estimate for the limits of linearity.

2012
Sarkar, J, Marandet C, Roux P, Walker S, Cornuelle BD, Kuperman WA.  2012.  Sensitivity kernel for surface scattering in a waveguide. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 131:111-118.   10.1121/1.3665999   AbstractWebsite

Using the Born approximation, a linearized sensitivity kernel is derived to describe the relationship between a local change at the free surface and its effect on the acoustic propagation in the water column. The structure of the surface scattering kernel is investigated numerically and experimentally for the case of a waveguide at the ultrasonic scale. To better demonstrate the sensitivity of the multipath propagation to the introduction of a localized perturbation at the air-water interface, the kernel is formulated both in terms of point-to-point and beam-to-beam representations. Agreement between theory and experiment suggests applications to sensitivity analysis of the wavefield for sea surface perturbations. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.3665999]

Zhang, XB, Cornuelle B, Roemmich D.  2012.  Sensitivity of Western Boundary Transport at the Mean North Equatorial Current Bifurcation Latitude to Wind Forcing. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 42:2056-2072.   10.1175/jpo-d-11-0229.1   AbstractWebsite

The bifurcation of the North Equatorial Current (NEC) plays an important role in the heat and water mass exchanges between the tropical and subtropical gyres in the Pacific Ocean. The variability of western boundary transport (WBT) east of the Philippine coast at the mean NEC bifurcation latitude (12 degrees N) is examined here. A tropical Pacific regional model is set up based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model and its adjoint, which calculates the sensitivities of a defined meridional transport to atmospheric forcing fields and ocean state going backward in time. The adjoint-derived sensitivity of the WBT at the mean NEC bifurcation latitude to surface wind stress is dominated by curl-like patterns that are located farther eastward and southward with increasing time lag. The temporal evolution of the adjoint sensitivity of the WBT to wind stress resembles wind-forced Rossby wave dynamics but propagating with speeds determined by the background stratification and current, suggesting that wind-forced Rossby waves are the underlying mechanism. Interannual-to-decadal variations of the WBT can be hindcast well by multiplying the adjoint sensitivity and the time-lagged wind stress over the whole model domain and summing over time lags. The analysis agrees with previous findings that surface wind stress (especially zonal wind stress in the western subtropical Pacific) largely determines the WBT east of the Philippines, and with a time lag based on Rossby wave propagation. This adjoint sensitivity study quantifies the contribution of wind stress at all latitudes and longitudes and provides a novel perspective to understand the relationship between the WBT and wind forcing over the Pacific Ocean.

2013
Gopalakrishnan, G, Cornuelle BD, Gawarkiewicz G, McClean JL.  2013.  Structure and evolution of the cold dome off northeastern Taiwan: A numerical study. Oceanography. 26:66-79. Abstract

Numerous observational and modeling studies of ocean circulation surrounding Taiwan have reported occurrences of cold water and doming of isotherms (called the cold dome) that result in the formation of coastal upwelling on the northeastern Taiwan shelf. We use a high-resolution (1/24°) ocean model based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model to study the evolution of this distinct shelf-slope circulation phenomenon. We performed a number of model simulations spanning a five-year period (2004–2008) using realistic atmospheric forcing and initial and open boundary conditions. The model solutions were compared with satellite measurements of sea surface height (SSH), sea surface temperature (SST), and historical temperature and salinity observations. The model showed a realistically shaped cold dome with a diameter of ~ 100 km and temperature of ~ 3°C below the ambient shelf waters at 50 m depth. The occurrences of simulated cold dome events appeared to be connected with the seasonal variability of the Kuroshio Current. The model simulations showed more upwelling events during spring and summer when the core of the Kuroshio tends to migrate away from the east coast of Taiwan, compared to fall and winter when the core of the Kuroshio is generally found closer to the east coast of Taiwan. The model also reproduced weak cyclonic circulation associated with the upwelling off northeastern Taiwan. We analyzed the spatio-temporal variability of the cold dome using the model solution as a proxy and designed a "cold dome index" based on the temperature at 50 m depth averaged over a 0.5° × 0.5° box centered at 25.5°N, 122°E. The cold dome index correlates with temperature at 50 m depth in a larger region, suggesting the spatial extent of the cold dome phenomenon. The index had correlation maxima of 0.78 and 0.40 for simulated SSH and SST, respectively, in and around the cold dome box region, and we hypothesize that it is a useful indicator of upwelling off northeastern Taiwan. In addition, both correlation and composite analysis between the temperature at 50 m depth and the East Taiwan Channel transport showed no cold dome events during low-transport events (often in winter) and more frequent cold dome events during high-transport events (often in summer). The simulated cold dome events had time scales of about two weeks, and their centers aligned roughly along a northeastward line starting from the northeastern tip of Taiwan.

Dzieciuch, MA, Cornuelle BD, Skarsoulis EK.  2013.  Structure and stability of wave-theoretic kernels in the ocean. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 134:3318-3331.   10.1121/1.4818846   AbstractWebsite

Wave-theoretic modeling can be applied to obtain travel-time sensitivity kernels (TSKs) representing the amount ray travel times are affected by sound-speed variations anywhere in the medium. This work explores the spatial frequency content of the TSK compared to expected ocean variability. It also examines the stability of the TSK in environments that produce strong sensitivity of ray paths to initial conditions. The conclusion is that the linear TSK model is an effective predictor of travel-time changes and that the rays perform nearly as well as the full-wave kernel. The TSK is examined in physical space and in wavenumber space, and it is found that this is the key to understanding how the travel time reacts to ocean perturbations. There are minimum vertical and horizontal length scales of ocean perturbations that are required for the travel time to be affected. The result is that the correspondence between true travel times and those calculated from the kernel is high for large-scale perturbations and somewhat less for the small scales. This demonstrates the validity of ray-based inversion of travel time observations for the cases under study. (C) 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

Gopalakrishnan, G, Cornuelle BD, Hoteit I, Rudnick DL, Owens BW.  2013.  State estimates and forecasts of the loop current in the Gulf of Mexico using the MITgcm and its adjoint. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 118:3292-3314.   10.1002/jgrc.20239   AbstractWebsite

An ocean state estimate has been developed for the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) using the MIT general circulation model and its adjoint. The estimate has been tested by forecasting loop current (LC) evolution and eddy shedding in the GoM. The adjoint (or four-dimensional variational) method was used to match the model evolution to observations by adjusting model temperature and salinity initial conditions, open boundary conditions, and atmospheric forcing fields. The model was fit to satellite-derived along-track sea surface height, separated into temporal mean and anomalies, and gridded sea surface temperature for 2 month periods. The optimized state at the end of the assimilation period was used to initialize the forecast for 2 months. Forecasts explore practical LC predictability and provide a cross-validation test of the state estimate by comparing it to independent future observations. The model forecast was tested for several LC eddy separation events, including Eddy Franklin in May 2010 during the deepwater horizon oil spill disaster in the GoM. The forecast used monthly climatological open boundary conditions, atmospheric forcing, and run-off fluxes. The model performance was evaluated by computing model-observation root-mean-square difference (rmsd) during both the hindcast and forecast periods. The rmsd metrics for the forecast generally outperformed persistence (keeping the initial state fixed) and reference (forecast initialized using assimilated Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model 1/12° global analysis) model simulations during LC eddy separation events for a period of 1̃2 months.

2016
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.

2019
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.