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Viktor Gouretski
,
Fabien Roquet
, and
Lijing Cheng

Abstract

The study focuses on biases in ocean temperature profiles obtained by means of Satellite Relay Data Loggers (SRDL recorders) and time–depth recorder (TDR) attached to marine mammals. Quasi-collocated profiles from Argo floats and from ship-based conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) profilers are used as reference. SRDL temperature biases depend on the sensor type and vary with depth. For the most numerous group of Valeport 3 (VP3) and conductivity–temperature–fluorescence (CTF) sensors, the bias is negative except for the layer 100–200 m. The vertical bias structure suggests a link to the upper-ocean thermal structure within the upper 200-m layer. Accounting for a time lag which might remain in the postprocessed data reduces the bias variability throughout the water column. Below 200-m depth, the bias remains negative with the overall mean of −0.027° ± 0.07°C. The suggested depth and thermal corrections for biases in SRDL data are within the uncertainty limits declared by the manufacturer. TDR recorders exhibit a different bias pattern, showing the predominantly positive bias of 0.08°–0.14°C below 100 m primarily due to the systematic error in pressure.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this work is to improve the consistency of the data from the specific instrumentation type used to measure ocean water temperature, namely, the data from miniature temperature sensors attached to marine mammals. As mammals dive during their route to and from their feeding areas, these sensors measure water temperature and dataloggers send the measured temperature data to oceanographic data centers via satellites as soon as the mammals return to the sea surface. We have shown that these data exhibit small systematic instrumental errors and suggested the respective corrections. Taking these corrections into account is important for the assessment of the ocean climate change.

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Peter T. May
,
Adrien Guyot
,
Alain Protat
, and
Mark Curtis

Abstract

This paper considers theoretical and observed uncertainties in the estimates of Z DR and ρ HV(0) using data from an operational S-band radar and a mobile X-band radar. Cases of widespread uniform precipitation including bright-band, clear air, and ash echoes from forest fires are all considered in order to obtain a wide range of ρ HV(0) values as this along with the radar frequency and spectrum width determines the uncertainties. The theoretical uncertainties in these parameters provide a good estimate of the lower bound of the standard deviations of the observed values where these have been estimated using the adjacent data to the target pixel. The implications for the accuracy of precipitation estimation, particle identification, and estimates of drop-size distributions are discussed.

Significance Statement

High-quality quantitative precipitation and particle size/classification retrievals using weather radar are strongly dependent on the accuracy of Z DR and ρ HV(0). This paper examines the theoretical limits to the measurement accuracy and verifies these limits with radar data at 10- and 3-cm wavelengths.

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Pieter B. Smit
,
Galen Egan
, and
Isabel A. Houghton

Abstract

Peak periods estimated from finite-resolution frequency spectra are necessarily discrete. For wind-generated surface gravity waves, conflicting considerations of robust (quasi)-stationary statistics, and high spectral resolution, combined with the inverse relation between frequency and period, this typically implies that swell periods (above 10 s) are resolved at best at O ( 1 ) s intervals. Here, we consider a method to improve peak period estimates for finite-resolution spectra. Specifically, we propose to define the peak period based on continuous spectra derived from a spline-based interpolation of the discretely sampled monotone cumulative distribution function. The method may directly be applied to existing discrete spectra—the original time-domain data (which may not be available) are not required. We compare reconstructed spectra and derived peak periods to parametric shapes and field data. Peak estimates are markedly improved, allowing for better tracking of, e.g., swells. The proposed method also marginally improves spectral levels and shape for a given discretely sampled estimate.

Open access
Xiaoyan Chen
,
Graham D. Quartly
, and
Ge Chen

Abstract

Argo floats are widely used to characterize vertical structures of ocean eddies, yet their capability to invert sea surface features of eddies, especially those overlooked by available altimeters, has not been explored. In this paper, we propose an “interior-to-surface” inversion algorithm to effectively expand the capacity of eddy detection by estimating altimeter-missed eddies’ surface attributes from their Argo-derived potential density anomaly profiles, given that the interior property and surface signature of eddies are highly correlated. An altimeter-calibrated machine learning ensemble is employed for the inversion training based on the joint altimeter–Argo eddy data and shows promising performance with mean absolute errors of 5.4 km, 0.5 cm, and 14.3 cm2 s−2 for eddy radius, amplitude, and kinetic energy, respectively. Then, the trained ensemble model is applied to independently invert the properties of eddies captured by an Argo-alone detection scheme, which yields high spatiotemporal consistency with their altimeter-captured counterparts. In particular, a portion of Argo-alone eddies is ∼25% smaller than altimeter-derived ones, indicating Argo’s unique capability of profiling weaker submesoscale eddies. Sea surface temperature and chlorophyll data are further applied to validate the reliability of eddies identified and characterized by the Argo-only algorithm. This new methodology effectively complements that of altimetry in eddy detection and can be expanded to estimate other physical/biochemical eddy variables from a variety of in situ observations.

Significance Statement

Despite thousands of eddies being routinely identified on a daily basis, it has been recognized that a substantial portion of eddies may still be missed due to inadequate sampling of altimeter constellations. Taking advantage of eddy’s correlation between surface and interior, a considerable number of eddies are discovered for the first time through an Argo-based eddy identification scheme. Here, we propose a new methodology to independently infer these recaptured eddies’ surface properties from their vertical signals through an “interior-to-surface” inversion process. The inferred eddy properties are verified by the spatiotemporal consistency with those derived from altimetry. Since Argo is capable of profiling smaller and weaker eddies, the proposed methodology significantly complements and expands that of altimetry in eddy observation.

Open access
Babette C. Tchonang
,
Matthew R. Archer
,
Ganesh Gopalakrishnan
,
Bruce Cornuelle
,
Matthew R. Mazloff
,
Jinbo Wang
, and
Lee-Lueng Fu

Abstract

This study evaluates the feasibility of applying the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) data assimilation (DA) framework to a submesoscale-resolving model [Massachusetts Institute of Technology General Circulation Model (MITgcm), at 1-km grid resolution]. This is in preparation for future studies to understand and assimilate the novel swath measurements of sea surface height from the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission. The model domain is centered at the SWOT calibration/validation (CalVal) site, located 300 km offshore of Monterey Bay, California. We assimilate vertical profiles of temperature and salinity from a linear array of three SWOT prelaunch CalVal moorings, between September and December 2019. Two model solutions are analyzed: 1) a nonassimilating forward simulation termed “first-guess” and 2) an optimized solution that assimilates the in situ observations. Both runs are nested within the global 1/12° Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model that uses Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation (HYCOM/NCODA) analysis. We evaluate the performance by comparing the two model solutions against assimilated and withheld in situ observations. We show that by assimilating hydrographic data, the model performance over the first-guess solution is improved with an error-to-observation reduction of 30%–45% for temperature, 14%–41% for salinity, and 44%–56% for steric height. Over the study period, the average steric height error at the three assimilated moorings was 1.27 cm for the optimized solution versus 2.6 cm for the first-guess solution. A comparison to withheld glider observations shows that the optimized solution outperforms the first-guess solution with an error-to-observation reduction of approximately 38% in steric height (1.5 versus 2.4 cm). This study indicates, for the first time, that the MITgcm–ECCO framework can be successfully applied to the reconstruction of submesoscale ocean variability, via the nesting of a high-resolution regional domain into a global outer domain.

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Christine Unal
and
Yannick van den Brule

Abstract

Accurate precipitation characterization relies on the estimation of raindrop size distribution (RDSD) from observations. While various techniques using centimeter-wavelength radars have been proposed for RDSD retrieval, the potential of millimeter-wavelength polarimetric radars, offering enhanced spatial and temporal resolution while capturing light to moderate rain, remains unexplored. This study focuses on retrieving the mass-weighted mean diameter Dm using a dual-frequency cloud radar. Since the differential reflectivity Z dr is ineffective for Dm retrieval at 94 GHz, and simulations demonstrate a strong dependence of the differential backscatter phase δ co on Dm , the estimation of δ co takes precedence in this paper. Notably, δ co remains unaffected by attenuation and polarimetric calibration. Addressing the initial requirement of disentangling backscattering and propagation effects at millimeter wavelength, an automatic algorithm is proposed to detect Rayleigh plateaus in the spectral domain. Subsequently, a methodology for estimating δ co and its associated error is presented. Leveraging simulation results, confidence intervals for Dm that align with δ co confidence intervals are retrieved. The assessment of Dm and its confidence interval at 35 and 94 GHz is conducted employing disdrometer-derived Dm . The results demonstrate a comprehensive concordance within a margin of 0.2 mm, underscoring the cloud radar’s efficacy in delineating nuanced variations in the raindrop mean diameter versus altitude. The validation process encounters difficulties for Dm below 1 mm, as the disdrometer-derived Dm may exhibit an overestimation, while the cloud-radar-derived Dm may exhibit an underestimation. The combination of 35 and 94 GHz serves to diminish the confidence interval associated with the retrieved Dm .

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Joshua G. Gebauer
and
Tyler M. Bell

Abstract

Instruments such as Doppler lidars, radar wind profilers, and uncrewed aircraft systems could be used in observation networks to fill in the temporal and spatial gap that exists for low-level wind observations. These instruments, however, do not directly observe the wind and require a retrieval to be used to obtain wind estimates from their observations. Also, the depth and uncertainty of observations collected by these instruments vary depending on the environment that they are sampling. Optimal estimation is a variational retrieval method that combines information from a prior dataset and observations to retrieve an atmospheric state. This technique can be beneficial to use when observations have large uncertainties or provide insufficient information to obtain the atmospheric state by themselves. A new optimal estimation retrieval for obtaining wind profiles from typical lower atmospheric wind profiling instrumentation has been developed. This retrieval allows for more observations from wind profiling instrumentation to be used when retrieving wind profiles, increases the depth of retrieved profiles, and eliminates vertical data gaps. This retrieval can also be used to easily combine observations from different instruments or even with model data to create combined data wind retrievals that leverage the strengths of the different data sources to retrieve a wind profile that is superior to those obtained by the individual observations or data sources. It is envisioned that this retrieval will be continued to be developed and maintained as community software as lower atmospheric wind observing capabilities further develop and expand.

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Falk Feddersen
,
Olavo B. Marques
,
James H. MacMahan
, and
Robert L. Grenzeback

Abstract

Wave spectra and directional moment measurements are of scientific and engineering interest and are routinely estimated with wave buoys. Recently, both fixed-location and uncrewed aircraft system (UAS)-mounted lidar have estimated surfzone wave spectra. However, nearshore wave statistics seaward of the surfzone have not been measured with lidar due to low return number, and nearshore directional moments have not been measured at all. We use a multibeam scanning lidar mounted on a gasoline-powered UAS to estimate wave spectra, wave slope spectra, and directional moments on the inner shelf in ≈10-m water depth from an 11-min hover and compare to a collocated wave buoy. Lidar returns within circular sampling regions with varying radius R are fit to a plane and a 2D parabola, providing sea surface and slope time series. Wave spectra across the sea–swell (0.04–0.4 Hz) band are robustly estimated for R ≥ 0.8 m. Estimating slope spectra is more challenging. Large R works well in the swell band, and smaller R works well at higher frequencies, in good agreement with a wave buoy inferred slope spectrum. Directional Fourier coefficients, estimated from wave and slope spectra and cross-spectra, are compared to a wave buoy in the sea–swell band. Larger R and the 2D parabola-fit yield better comparison to the wave buoy. Mean wave angles and directional spreads, functions of the directional Fourier coefficients, are well reproduced at R = 2.4 m and the 2D parabola-fit, within the uncertainties of the wave buoy. The internal consistency of the UAS-lidar-derived results and their good comparison to the Spotter wave buoy demonstrate the effectiveness of this tool for estimating wave statistics.

Significance Statement

Previously fixed-location or hovering lidar has been used to estimate wave spectra in the surf and swash zone where lidar returns are high due to the reflectance of foam. We present a methodology to accurately estimate wave spectra and directional properties on the inner shelf where waves are not breaking using a hovering uncrewed aircraft system with a mounted lidar. The estimated wave spectra and directional statistics are compared well with a Spotter wave buoy, demonstrating the method’s robustness.

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Martin Schön
,
Vasileios Savvakis
,
Maria Kezoudi
,
Andreas Platis
, and
Jens Bange

Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols affect human health and influence atmospheric and biological processes. Dust can be transported long distances in the atmosphere, and the mechanisms that influence dust transport are not fully understood. To improve the database for numerical models that simulate dust transport, measurements are needed that cover both the vertical distribution of the dust and its size distribution. In addition to measurements with crewed aircraft, uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs) provide a particularly suitable platform for this purpose. In this paper, we present a payload for the small fixed-wing UAS of the type Multiple-Purpose Airborne Sensor Carrier 3 (MASC-3) for aerosol particle measurements that is based on the optical particle counter (OPC) OPC-N3 (Alphasense, United Kingdom), modified by the addition of a dryer and a passive aspiration system (OPC-Pod). Based on field tests with a reference instrument in Mannheim, Germany, wind tunnel tests, and a comparison measurement with the UAS-mounted aerosol particle measurement Universal Cloud and Aerosol Sounding System (UCASS) during a dust event over Cyprus, we show that the OPC-Pod can measure particle number concentrations in the range of 0.66–31 μm as well as particle size distributions. The agreement of the OPC-Pod with UCASS is good. Both instruments resolve a vertical profile of the Saharan dust event, with a prominent dust layer between 1500 and 2800 m MSL, with particle number concentrations up to 35 cm−3 for particles between 0.66 and 31 μm.

Open access
Larry W. O’Neill
,
Dudley B. Chelton
,
Ernesto Rodríguez
,
Roger Samelson
, and
Alexander Wineteer

Abstract

We propose a method to reconstruct sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) from vector surface currents and winds. This analysis is motivated by the proposed satellite ODYSEA, which is a Doppler scatterometer that measures coincident surface vector winds and currents. If it is feasible to estimate SSHA from these measurements, then ODYSEA could provide collocated fields of SSHA, currents, and winds over a projected wide swath of ∼1700 km. The reconstruction also yields estimates of the low-frequency surface geostrophic, Ekman, irrotational, and nondivergent current components and a framework for separation of balanced and unbalanced motions. The reconstruction is based on a steady-state surface momentum budget including the Ekman drift, Coriolis acceleration, and horizontal advection. The horizontal SSHA gradient is obtained as a residual of these terms, and the unknown SSHA is solved for using a Helmholtz–Hodge decomposition given an imposed SSHA boundary condition. We develop the reconstruction using surface currents, winds, and SSHA off the U.S. West Coast from a 43-day coupled ROMS–WRF simulation. We also consider how simulated ODYSEA measurement and sampling errors and boundary condition uncertainties impact reconstruction accuracy. We find that temporal smoothing of the currents for periods of 150 h is necessary to mitigate large reconstruction errors associated with unbalanced near-inertial motions. For the most realistic case of projected ODYSEA measurement noise and temporal sampling, the reconstructed SSHA fields have an RMS error of 2.1 cm and a model skill (squared correlation) of 0.958 with 150-h resolution. We conclude that an accurate SSHA reconstruction is feasible using information measured by ODYSEA and external SSHA boundary conditions.

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