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Tiemann, CO, Worcester PF, Cornuelle BD.  2001.  Acoustic scattering by internal solitary waves in the Strait of Gibraltar. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 109:143-154.   10.1121/1.1329624   AbstractWebsite

High-freqnency underwater acoustic transmissions across the Strait of Gibraltar were used to examine acoustic scattering caused by the unique internal wave field in the Strait. Internal solitary waves of 100 m in amplitude propagate along the interface between an upper layer of Atlantic water and a lower layer of Mediterranean water. The interface is also strongly modulated by internal tides of comparable amplitude. As internal solitary waves cross the acoustic path, they cause sharp soundspeed gradients which intermittently refract acoustic rays away from normal sound channels. Internal tides vertically shift soundspeed profiles for additional travel time variability. Although the acoustic scattering is quite complicated, it is also surprisingly robust, making it a good candidate for modeling. Key features of the acoustic arrival pattern can be accounted for in some detail by a model description of the complex hydraulics in the Strait. (C) 2001 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.1329624].

Todd, RE, Rudnick DL, Mazloff MR, Cornuelle BD, Davis RE.  2012.  Thermohaline structure in the California Current System: Observations and modeling of spice variance. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 117   10.1029/2011jc007589   AbstractWebsite

Upper ocean thermohaline structure in the California Current System is investigated using sustained observations from autonomous underwater gliders and a numerical state estimate. Both observations and the state estimate show layers distinguished by the temperature and salinity variability along isopycnals (i.e., spice variance). Mesoscale and submesoscale spice variance is largest in the remnant mixed layer, decreases to a minimum below the pycnocline near 26.3 kg m(-3), and then increases again near 26.6 kg m(-3). Layers of high (low) meso-and submesoscale spice variance are found on isopycnals where large-scale spice gradients are large (small), consistent with stirring of large-scale gradients to produce smaller scale thermohaline structure. Passive tracer adjoint calculations in the state estimate are used to investigate possible mechanisms for the formation of the layers of spice variance. Layers of high spice variance are found to have distinct origins and to be associated with named water masses; high spice variance water in the remnant mixed layer has northerly origin and is identified as Pacific Subarctic water, while the water in the deeper high spice variance layer has southerly origin and is identified as Equatorial Pacific water. The layer of low spice variance near 26.3 kg m(-3) lies between the named water masses and does not have a clear origin. Both effective horizontal diffusivity, kappa(h), and effective diapycnal diffusivity, kappa(v), are elevated relative to the diffusion coefficients set in the numerical simulation, but changes in kappa(h) and kappa(v) with depth are not sufficient to explain the observed layering of thermohaline structure.

Todd, RE, Rudnick DL, Mazloff MR, Davis RE, Cornuelle BD.  2011.  Poleward flows in the southern California Current System: Glider observations and numerical simulation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 116   10.1029/2010jc006536   AbstractWebsite

Three years of continuous Spray glider observations in the southern California Current System (CCS) are combined with a numerical simulation to describe the mean and variability of poleward flows in the southern CCS. Gliders provide upper ocean observations with good across-shore and temporal resolution along two across-shore survey lines while the numerical simulation provides a dynamically consistent estimate of the ocean state. Persistent poleward flows are observed in three areas: within 100 km of the coast at Point Conception, within the Southern California Bight (SCB), and offshore of the SCB and the Santa Rosa Ridge (SRR). Poleward transport by the flows within the SCB and offshore of the SRR exceeds the poleward transport off Point Conception, suggesting that the poleward flows are not continuous over the 225 km between observation lines. The numerical simulation shows offshore transport between the survey lines that is consistent with some of the poleward flow turning offshore before reaching Point Conception. The poleward current offshore of the SRR is unique in that it is strongest at depths greater than 350 m and it is observed to migrate westward away from the coast. This westward propagation is tied to westward propagating density anomalies originating in the SCB during the spring-summer upwelling season when wind stress curl is most strongly positive. The across-shore wave number, frequency, and phase speed of the westward propagation and the lack of across-shore transport of salinity along isopycnals are consistent with first-mode baroclinic Rossby dynamics.

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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.

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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, 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.

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.

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

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.

Voronovich, AG, Ostashev VE, Colosi JA, Cornuelle BD, Dushaw BD, Dzieciuch MA, Howe BM, Mercer JA, Munk WH, Spindel RC, Worcester PF, The NPAL Group.  2005.  Horizontal refraction of acoustic signals retrieved from the North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory billboard array data. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 117:1527-1537.   10.1121/1.1854435   AbstractWebsite

In 1998-1999, a comprehensive low-frequency long-range sound propagation experiment was carried out by the North Pacific, Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL). In this paper, the data recorded during the experiment by a, billboard acoustic array were used to compute the horizontal refraction of the arriving acoustic signals using both ray- and mode-based approaches. The results obtained by these two approaches are consistent. The acoustic signals exhibited weak (if any) regular horizontal refraction throughut most of the experiment. However, it increased up to 0.4 deg (the sound rays were bent towards the south) at the beginning and the end of the experiment. These increases occurred during midspring to midsummer time and seemed to reflect seasonal trends in the horizontal gradients of the sound speed. The measured standard deviation of the horizontal refraction angles was about 0.37 deg, which is close to an estimate of this standard deviation calculated using 3D modal theory of low-frequency sound propagation through internal gravity waves. (c) 2005 Acoustical Society of America.

Voronovich, AG, Ostashev VE, Colosi JA, Cornuelle BD, Dushaw BD, Dzieciuch MA, Howe BM, Mercer JA, Spindel RC, Worcester PF.  2002.  Experimental investigation of the horizontal refraction of acoustic signals in the ocean. Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics. 38:716-719. Abstract
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Wiggins, SM, Dorman LRM, Cornuelle BD, Hildebrand JA.  1996.  Hess Deep rift valley structure from seismic tomography. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 101:22335-22353.   10.1029/96jb01230   AbstractWebsite

We present results from a seismic refraction experiment conducted across the Hess Deep rift valley in the equatorial east Pacific. P wave travel times between seafloor explosions and ocean bottom seismographs are analyzed using an iterative stochastic inverse method to produce a velocity model of the subsurface structure. The resulting velocity model differs from typical young, fast spreading, East Pacific Rise crust by approximately +/-1 km/s with slow velocities beneath the valley of the deep and a fast region forming the intrarift ridge. We interpret these velocity contrasts as lithologies originating at different depths and/or alteration of the preexisting rock units. We use our seismic model, along with petrologic and bathymetric data from previous studies, to produce a structural model. The model supports low-angle detachment faulting with serpentinization of peridotite as the preferred mechanism for creating the distribution and exposure of lower crustal and upper mantle rocks within Hess Deep.

Wiggins, SM, Dorman LM, Cornuelle BD.  1997.  Topography can affect linearization in tomographic inversions. Geophysics. 62:1797-1803.   10.1190/1.1444280   AbstractWebsite

Linearized inverse techniques commonly are used to solve for velocity models from traveltime data. The amount that a model may change without producing large, nonlinear changes in the predicted traveltime data is dependent on the surface topography and parameterization. Simple, one-layer, laterally homogeneous, constant-gradient models are used to study analytically and empirically the effect of topography and parameterization on the linearity of the model-data relationship. If, in a weak-velocity-gradient model, rays turn beneath a valley with topography similar to the radius of curvature of the raypaths, then large nonlinearities will result from small model perturbations. Hills, conversely, create environments in which the data are more nearly linearly related to models with the same model perturbations.

Willis, JK, Roemmich D, Cornuelle B.  2003.  Combining altimetric height with broadscale profile data to estimate steric height, heat storage, subsurface temperature, and sea-surface temperature variability. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 108   10.1029/2002jc001755   AbstractWebsite

A new technique is demonstrated for combining altimetric height (AH) and sea-surface temperature (SST) with in situ data to produce improved estimates of 0/800 m steric height (SH), heat content, and temperature variability. The technique uses a linear regression onto AH to construct an initial guess for the subsurface quantity. This guess is then corrected toward the in situ data creating an estimate with substantially less error than could be achieved using either data set alone. Inclusion of the SST data further improves the estimates and illustrates how the procedure can be generalized to allow inclusion of additional data sets. The technique is demonstrated over a region in the southwestern Pacific enclosing the Tasman Sea. Nine-year time series of heat storage and temperature variability, averaged over 4degrees latitude and longitude and 1 year in time, are calculated. The estimates have RMS errors of approximately 4.6 W/m(2) in heat storage, 0.10degreesC in subsurface temperature and 0.11degreesC in surface temperature, and fractional errors of 20, 28, and 18%, respectively, relative to the total variance overall spatial and temporal scales considered. These represent significant improvements over previous estimates of these quantities. All the time series show strong interannual variability including the El Nino event of 1997. Application of these techniques on a global scale could provide new insight into the variability of the general circulation and heat budget of the upper ocean.

Willis, JK, Roemmich D, Cornuelle B.  2004.  Interannual variability in upper ocean heat content, temperature, and thermosteric expansion on global scales. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 109   10.1029/2003jc002260   AbstractWebsite

[1] Satellite altimetric height was combined with approximately 1,000,000 in situ temperature profiles to produce global estimates of upper ocean heat content, temperature, and thermosteric sea level variability on interannual timescales. Maps of these quantities from mid-1993 through mid-2003 were calculated using the technique developed by Willis et al. [ 2003]. The time series of globally averaged heat content contains a small amount of interannual variability and implies an oceanic warming rate of 0.86 +/- 0.12 watts per square meter of ocean (0.29 +/- 0.04 pW) from 1993 to 2003 for the upper 750 m of the water column. As a result of the warming, thermosteric sea level rose at a rate of 1.6 +/- 0.3 mm/yr over the same time period. Maps of yearly heat content anomaly show patterns of warming commensurate with ENSO variability in the tropics, but also show that a large part of the trend in global, oceanic heat content is caused by regional warming at midlatitudes in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition to quantifying interannual variability on a global scale, this work illustrates the importance of maintaining continuously updated monitoring systems that provide global coverage of the world's oceans. Ongoing projects, such as the Jason/TOPEX series of satellite altimeters and the Argo float program, provide a critical foundation for characterizing variability on regional, basin, and global scales and quantifying the oceans' role as part of the climate system.

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.

Worcester, PF, Cornuelle BD, Spindel RC.  1991.  A Review of Ocean Acoustic Tomography - 1987-1990. Reviews of Geophysics. 29:557-570. AbstractWebsite

Research in ocean acoustic tomography during the last quadrennium has resulted in substantial progress in understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technique. Theoretical studies and numerical simulations have led to greater understanding of the oceanographic information available in a vertical slice from acoustic transmissions between a single pair of instruments, of the horizontal geometries required to map the ocean mesoscale field with specified precision, and of the properties of tomographic reconstructions of the two-dimensional vector field of current. Simultaneously, the instrumentation used in tomographic experiments has been significantly improved, increasing the precision of the measurements and making gyre and basin scale experiments feasible between moored instruments. Experimental efforts to test the accuracy with which the ocean temperature and current fields can be measured acoustically have now demonstrated that tomographic techniques provide measurements with oceanographically useful precision up to ranges of about 1000 km. Such demonstrations are difficult due to the incompatibility between point measurements and the spatial averages provided by tomographic techniques. The experiments have also yielded significant information on the character of acoustic propagation at long range in the ocean. Experimental precision is now adequate to distinguish between competing algorithms for sound speed as a function of temperature, salinity, and depth. Finally, and most importantly, emphasis has shifted to use of the technique for studying the ocean, rather than on understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technique. Two major experiments, the Greenland Sea Tomography Experiment and the Gulf Stream Extension Tomography Experiment, both conducted during 1988-89, were devoted to improving our understanding of ocean dynamics, although results are not yet available. There is increased emphasis on exploiting the integrating nature of acoustic transmissions to study gyre and global scale temperature variability, phenomena difficult to study in any other way.

Worcester, P, Cornuelle B.  1982.  Ocean acoustic tomography: Currents. Current Measurement, Proceedings of the 1982 IEEE Second Working Conference on. 2:131-135., Hilton Head Island, South CArolina   10.1109/ccm.1982.1158437   Abstract

Synoptic maps of the geostrophic current structure of the mesoscale field can be constructed from the three-dimensional density field provided by ocean acoustic tomography with unidirectional acoustic transmissions. Reciprocal acoustic transmissions can extend the technique by permitting one to directly measure the current field, including the barotropic component. A preliminary reciprocal acoustic transmission experiment at long range (300 km) and low frequency (400 Hz) is planned for autumn 1982.

Worcester, PF, Cornuelle BD, Hildebrand JA, Hodgkiss WS, Duda TF, Boyd J, Howe BM, Mercer JA, Spindel RC.  1994.  A Comparison of Measured and Predicted Broad-Band Acoustic Arrival Patterns in Travel Time-Depth Coordinates at 1000-Km Range. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 95:3118-3128.   10.1121/1.409977   AbstractWebsite

Broadband acoustic signals were transmitted from a moored 250-Hz source to a 3-km-long vertical line array of hydrophones 1000 km distant in the eastern North Pacific Ocean during July 1989. The sound-speed field along the great circle path connecting the source and receiver was measured directly by nearly 300 expendable bathythermograph (XBT), conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD), and air-launched expendable bathythermograph (AXBT) casts while the transmissions were in progress. This experiment is unique in combining a vertical receiving array that extends over much of the water column, extensive concurrent environmental measurements, and broadband signals designed to measure acoustic travel times with 1-ms precision. The time-mean travel times of the early raylike arrivals, which are evident as wave fronts sweeping across the receiving array, and the time-mean of the times at which the acoustic reception ends (the final cutoffs) for hydrophones near the sound channel axis, are consistent with ray predictions based on the direct measurements of temperature and salinity, within measurement uncertainty. The comparisons show that subinertial oceanic variability with horizontal wavelengths shorter than 50 km, which is not resolved by the direct measurements, significantly (25 ms peak-to-peak) affects the time-mean ray travel times. The final cutoffs occur significantly later than predicted using ray theory for hydrophones more than 100-200 m off the sound channel axis. Nongeometric effects, such as diffraction at caustics, partially account for this observation.

Worcester, PF, Lynch JF, Morawitz WML, Pawlowicz R, Sutton PJ, Cornuelle BD, Johannessen OM, Munk WH, Owens WB, Shuchman R, Spindel RC.  1993.  Evolution of the Large-Scale Temperature-Field in the Greenland Sea During 1988-89 from Tomographic Measurements. Geophysical Research Letters. 20:2211-2214.   10.1029/93gl02373   AbstractWebsite

The Greenland Sea Ocean Acoustic Tomography Experiment was conducted during 1988-89, as one component of the international Greenland Sea Project, to study deep water formation and the response of the gyre to variations in wind stress and ice cover. Six acoustic transceivers moored in an array 200-km across transmitted to one another at four hour intervals. Near the end of February, 1989, a sub-surface temperature maximum at several hundred meters depth disappeared over a suprisingly large area of the central Greenland Sea . While the water column was modified to about 1000 m depth over much of the gyre, the surface remained colder than the deeper water, contrary to what might be expected from simple models of convective renewal.

Worcester, PF, Cornuelle BD, Dzieciuch MA, Munk WH, Howe BM, Mercer JA, Spindel RC, Colosi JA, Metzger K, Birdsall TG, Baggeroer AB.  1999.  A test of basin-scale acoustic thermometry using a large-aperture vertical array at 3250-km range in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 105:3185-3201.   10.1121/1.424649   AbstractWebsite

Broadband acoustic signals were transmitted during November 1994 from a 75-Hz source suspended near the depth of the sound-channel axis to a 700-m long vertical receiving array approximately 3250 km distant in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. The early part of the arrival pattern consists of raylike wave fronts that are resolvable, identifiable, and stable. The later part of the arrival pattern does not contain identifiable raylike arrivals, due to scattering from internal-wave-induced sound-speed fluctuations. The observed ray travel times differ from ray predictions based on the sound-speed field constructed using nearly concurrent temperature and salinity measurements by more than a priori variability estimates, suggesting that the equation used to compute sound speed requires refinement. The range-averaged ocean sound speed can be determined with an uncertainty of about 0.05 m/s from the observed ray travel times together with the time at which the near-axial acoustic reception ends, used as a surrogate for the group delay of adiabatic mode 1. The change in temperature over six days can be estimated with an uncertainty of about 0.006 degrees C. The sensitivity of the travel times to ocean variability is concentrated near the ocean surface and at the corresponding conjugate depths, because all of the resolved ray arrivals have upper turning depths within a few hundred meters of the surface. (C) 1999 Acoustical Society of America. [S0001-4966(99)04506-3].

Worcester, P, Dushaw BD, Andrew RK, Howe BM, Mercer JA, Spindel RC, Cornuelle B, Dzieciuch M, Birdsall TG, Metzger K, Menemenlis D.  2008.  A decade of acoustic thermometry in the North Pacific Ocean: Using long-range acoustic travel times to test gyre-scale temperature variability derived from other observations and ocean models. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 123 AbstractWebsite

Large-scale, range- and depth-averaged temperatures in the North Pacific Ocean were measured by long-range acoustic transmissions over the decade 1996-2006. Acoustic sources off central California and north of Kauai transmitted to receivers throughout the North Pacific. Even though acoustic travel times are spatially integrating, suppressing mesoscale variability and providing a precise measure of large-scale temperature, the travel times sometimes vary significantly on time scales of only a few weeks. The interannual variability is large, with no consistent warming or cooling trends. Comparison of the measured travel times with travel times derived from (i) the World Ocean Atlas 2005 (WOA05), (ii) an upper ocean temperature estimate derived from satellite altimetry and in situ profiles, (iii) an analysis provided by the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) project, and (iv) simulation results from a high-resolution configuration of the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) show similarities, but also reveal substantial differences. The differences suggest that the data can provide significant additional constraints for numerical ocean simulations. The acoustic data show that WOA05 is a much better estimate of the time-mean hydrography than either the ECCO or POP estimates and provide significantly better time resolution for large-scale ocean variability than can be derived from satellite altimetry and in situ profiles.

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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.

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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.

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.