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James S. Bennett, Frederick R. Stahr, Charles C. Eriksen, Martin C. Renken, Wendy E. Snyder, and Lora J. Van Uffelen

Abstract

Seagliders® are buoyancy-driven autonomous underwater vehicles whose sub-surface position estimates are typically derived from velocities inferred using a flight model. We present a method for computing velocities and positions during the different phases typically encountered during a dive-climb profile based on a buoyancy-driven flight model. We compare these predictions to observations gathered from a Seaglider deployment on the acoustic tracking range in Dabob Bay (200 m depth, mean vehicle speeds ~30 cm s-1), permitting us to bound the position accuracy estimates and understand sources of various errors. We improve position accuracy estimates during long vehicle accelerations by numerically integrating the flight-model's fundamental momentum-balance equations. Overall, based on an automated estimation of flight-model parameters, we confirm previous work that predicted vehicle velocities in the dominant dive and climb phases are accurate to < 1 cm s-1, which bounds the accumulated position error in time. However, in this energetic tidal basin, position error also accumulates due to unresolved depth-dependent flow superimposed upon an inferred depth-averaged current.

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Pichaya Lertvilai, Paul L.D. Roberts, and Jules S. Jaffe

Abstract

The development of a low-cost Video Velocimeter (VIV) to estimate underwater bulk flow velocity is described. The instrument utilizes a simplified particle image correlation technique to reconstruct an average flow velocity vector from video recordings of ambient particles. The VIV uses a single camera with a set of mirrors that splits the view into two stereoscopic views, allowing estimation of the flow velocity vector. The VIV was validated in a controlled flume using ambient seawater, and subsequently field tested together with an acoustic Doppler velocimeter with both mounted close to the coastal seafloor. When used in non-turbulent flow, the instrument can estimate mean flow velocity parallel to the front face of the instrument with root-mean-squared errors of the main flow within 10% of the ±20 cm/s measurement range when compared to an ADV. The predominant feature of the VIV is that it is a cost-effective method to estimate flow velocity in complex benthic habitats where velocity parallel to the sea floor is of interest.

Open access
Yingkai Sha, David John Gagne II, Gregory West, and Roland Stull

Abstract

We present a novel approach for the automated quality control (QC) of precipitation for a sparse station observation network within the complex terrain of British Columbia, Canada. Our QC approach uses Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to classify bad observation values, incorporating a multi-classifier ensemble to achieve better QC performance. We train CNNs using human QC’d labels from 2016 to 2017 with gridded precipitation and elevation analyses as inputs. Based on the classification evaluation metrics, our QC approach shows reliable and robust performance across different geographical environments (e.g., coastal and inland mountains), with 0.927 Area Under Curve (AUC) and type I/type II error lower than 15%. Based on the saliency-map-based interpretation studies, we explain the success of CNN-based QC by showing that it can capture the precipitation patterns around, and upstream of the station locations. This automated QC approach is an option for eliminating bad observations for various applications, including the pre-processing of training datasets for machine learning. It can be used in conjunction with human QC to improve upon what could be accomplished with either method alone.

Open access
Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Bruce D. Cornuelle, Matthew R. Mazloff, Peter F. Worcester, and Matthew A. Dzieciuch

Abstract

A strongly nonlinear eddy field is present in and around the Subtropical Countercurrent in the Northern Philippine Sea (NPS). A regional implementation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model–Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean four-dimensional variational (MITgcm-ECCO 4DVAR) assimilation system is found to be able to produce a series of two-month-long dynamically-consistent optimized state estimates between April 2010 and April 2011 for the eddy-rich NPS region. The assimilation provides a stringent dynamical test of the model, showing that a free run of the model forced using adjusted controls remains consistent with the observations for two months. The 4DVAR iterative optimization reduced the total cost function for the observations and controls by 40–50% from the reference solution, initialized using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model 1/12° global daily analysis, achieving residuals approximately equal to the assumed uncertainties for the assimilated observations. The state estimates are assessed by comparing with assimilated and withheld observations and also by comparing one-month model forecasts with future data. The state estimates and forecasts were more skillful than model persistence and the reference solutions. Finally, the continuous state estimates were used to detect and track the eddies, analyze their structure, and quantify their vertically-integrated meridional heat and salt transports.

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Matthew L. Walker McLinden, Lihua Li, Gerald M. Heymsfield, Michael Coon, and Amber Emory

Abstract

The NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC’s) W-band (94 GHz) Cloud Radar System (CRS) has been comprehensively updated to modern solid-state and digital technology. This W-band (94 GHz) radar flies in nadir-pointing mode on the NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft, providing polarimetric reflectivity and Doppler measurements of clouds and precipitation. This paper describes the design and signal processing of the upgraded CRS. It includes details on the hardware upgrades (SSPA transmitter, antenna, and digital receiver) including a new reflectarray antenna and solid-state transmitter. It also includes algorithms, including internal loop-back calibration, external calibration using a direct relationship between volume reflectivity and the range-integrated backscatter of the ocean, and a modified staggered-PRF Doppler algorithm that is highly resistant to unfolding errors. Data samples obtained by upgraded CRS through recent NASA airborne science missions are provided.

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Giuseppe Zibordi, Brent N. Holben, Marco Talone, Davide D’Alimonte, Ilya Slutsker, David M. Giles, and Mikhail G. Sorokin

Abstract

The Ocean Color Component of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET-OC) supports activities related to ocean color such as validation of satellite data products, assessment of atmospheric correction schemes, and evaluation of bio-optical models through globally distributed standardized measurements of water-leaving radiance and aerosol optical depth. In view of duly assisting the AERONET-OC data user community, this work (i) summarizes the latest investigations on a number of scientific issues related to above-water radiometry, (ii) emphasizes the network expansion that from 2002 until the end of 2020 integrated 31 effective measurement sites, (iii) shows the equivalence of data product accuracy across sites and time for measurements performed with different instrument series, (iv) illustrates the variety of water types represented by the network sites ensuring validation activities across a diversity of observation conditions, and (v) documents the availability of water-leaving radiance data corrected for bidirectional effects by applying a method specifically developed for chlorophyll-a-dominated waters and an alternative one that is likely suitable for any water type.

Open access
Rupayan Saha, Firat Y. Testik, and Murat C. Testik

Abstract

This study investigates the OTT Pluvio2 weighing precipitation gauge’s random and systematic error components as well as stabilization of the measurements on time-varying rainfall intensities (RI) under laboratory conditions. A highly precise programmable peristaltic pump that provided both constant and time-varying RI was utilized in the experiments. Abrupt, gradual step, and cyclic step changes in the RI values were evaluated. RI readings were taken in real time (RT) at different time resolutions (6–60 s) for the RI range of 6–70 mm h−1. Our analysis indicates that the lower threshold for the OTT Pluvio2’s real-time RI measurements should be redefined as 7 mm h−1 at a 1-min resolution. Tolerance intervals containing 95% of the repeated measurements with a probability of 0.95 are given. It is shown that the measurement variances are unequal over the range of RI and the measurement repeatability is not uniform. A statistically significant negative bias was observed for the RI values of 7 and 8 mm h−1, while there was not a statistically significant linearity problem. Through the use of statistical control limits, it is shown that means of the RI measurements stabilized on the actual RI value. A detailed investigation on RT bucket weight measurements revealed a time delay in bucket weight measurements, which causes notable errors in reported RI measurements under dynamic rainfall conditions. To demonstrate the potentiality of large errors in Pluvio2’s real-time RI measurements, a set of equations was developed that faithfully reproduced the Pluvio2’s internal (hidden) algorithm, and results from dynamic laboratory and in situ rainfall scenarios were simulated. The results of this investigation show the necessity of modifying the present Pluvio2 RI algorithm to enhance its performance and show the possibility of postprocessing the existing Pluvio2 RI datasets for improved measurement accuracies.

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Sean Celona, Sophia T. Merrifield, Tony de Paolo, Nate Kaslan, Tom Cook, Eric J. Terrill, and John A. Colosi

Abstract

A method based on machine learning and image processing techniques has been developed to track the surface expression of internal waves in near–real time. X-band radar scans are first preprocessed and averaged to suppress surface wave clutter and enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of persistent backscatter features driven by gradients in surface currents. A machine learning algorithm utilizing a support vector machine (SVM) model is then used to classify whether or not the image contains an internal solitary wave (ISW) or internal tide bore (bore). The use of machine learning is found to allow rapid assessment of the large dataset, and provides insight on characterizing optimal environmental conditions to allow for radar illumination and detection of ISWs and bores. Radon transforms and local maxima detections are used to locate these features within images that are determined to contain an ISW or bore. The resulting time series of locations is used to create a map of propagation speed and direction that captures the spatiotemporal variability of the ISW or bore in the coastal environment. This technique is applied to 2 months of data collected near Point Sal, California, and captures ISW and bore propagation speed and direction information that currently cannot be measured with instruments such as moorings and synthetic aperture radar (SAR).

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Caitlin B. Whalen

Abstract

The turbulent energy dissipation rate in the ocean can be measured by using rapidly sampling microstructure shear probes, or by applying a finescale parameterization to coarser-resolution density and/or shear profiles. The two techniques require measurements that are on different spatiotemporal scales and generate dissipation rate estimates that also differ in spatiotemporal scale. Since the distribution of the measured energy dissipation rate is closer to lognormal than normal and fluctuates with the strength of the turbulence, averaging the two approaches on equivalent spatiotemporal scales is critical for accurately comparing the two methods. Here, microstructure data from the 1997 Brazil Basin Tracer Release Experiment (BBTRE) is used to demonstrate that comparing averages of the dissipation rate on different spatiotemporal scales can generate spurious discrepancies of up to a factor of order 10 in regions of strong turbulence and smaller biases of up to a factor of 2 in the presence of weaker turbulence.

Open access
Laurence C. Breaker and Dustin Carroll

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to extract more information about the scaling exponents we obtain from sea surface temperature (SST) because their information content is limited to a single value. We examine the application of empirical mode decomposition (EMD) to power-law scaling using SST from Scripps Pier, California. The daily observations we employ extend from 1920 to 2009, a period of 90 years. The annual cycle and the long-term trend were first removed. The decomposition produced a total of 15 modes. The scaling exponents were then calculated separately for each mode from the EMD. We have examined the distribution of scaling exponents with respect to the ensemble, and then with respect to the individual modes for the oceanic processes that we may infer from them. The first three modes are antipersistent and contain about one-quarter of the total variance. The pattern of modes that was obtained is continuous and relatively smooth beyond mode 3 with increasing values up to mode 8 and generally decreasing values thereafter. The pattern exhibits intramodal correlation, as expected, and intermodal correlation as well. Intermodal correlation is likely due, for the most part, to long-range persistence. The annual cycle in SST at Scripps Pier is a dominant feature in the record and contains almost 70% of the variance. A method for removing the annual cycle that is not based on removing the mean value is introduced and is recommended for future use.

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