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  • Author or Editor: Gregory P. Gerbi x
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Anthony R. Kirincich
,
Steven J. Lentz
, and
Gregory P. Gerbi

Abstract

Recently, the velocity observations of acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) have been successfully used to estimate turbulent Reynolds stresses in estuaries and tidal channels. However, the presence of surface gravity waves can significantly bias stress estimates, limiting application of the technique in the coastal ocean. This work describes a new approach to estimate Reynolds stresses from ADCP velocities obtained in the presence of waves. The method fits an established semiempirical model of boundary layer turbulence to the measured turbulent cospectra at frequencies below those of surface gravity waves to estimate the stress. Applied to ADCP observations made in weakly stratified waters and variable significant wave heights, estimated near-bottom and near-surface stresses using this method compared well with independent estimates of the boundary stresses in contrast to previous methods. Additionally, the vertical structure of tidal stress estimated using the new approach matched that inferred from a linear momentum balance at stress levels below the estimated stress uncertainties. Because the method makes an estimate of the horizontal turbulent length scales present as part of the model fit, these results can also enable a direct correction for the mean bias errors resulting from instrument tilt, if these scales are long relative to the beam separation.

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Gregory P. Gerbi
,
Emmanuel Boss
,
P. Jeremy Werdell
,
Christopher W. Proctor
,
Nils Haëntjens
,
Marlon R. Lewis
,
Keith Brown
,
Diego Sorrentino
,
J. Ronald V. Zaneveld
,
Andrew H. Barnard
,
John Koegler
,
Hugh Fargher
,
Matthew DeDonato
, and
William Wallace

Abstract

The use of autonomous profiling floats for observational estimates of radiometric quantities in the ocean is explored, and the use of this platform for validation of satellite-based estimates of remote sensing reflectance in the ocean is examined. This effort includes comparing quantities estimated from float and satellite data at nominal wavelengths of 412, 443, 488, and 555 nm, and examining sources and magnitudes of uncertainty in the float estimates. This study had 65 occurrences of coincident high-quality observations from floats and MODIS Aqua and 15 occurrences of coincident high-quality observations floats and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The float estimates of remote sensing reflectance are similar to the satellite estimates, with disagreement of a few percent in most wavelengths. The variability of the float–satellite comparisons is similar to the variability of in situ–satellite comparisons using a validation dataset from the Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY). This, combined with the agreement of float-based and satellite-based quantities, suggests that floats are likely a good platform for validation of satellite-based estimates of remote sensing reflectance.

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