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  • Author or Editor: G. Reverdin x
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G. Reverdin, F. Marin, B. Bourlès, and P. Lherminier

Abstract

Data from French cruises in 1999–2007, a period during which Deep Blue (DB) or T7 expendable bathythermographs (XBTs) were deployed, and for which ancillary temperature data are available in the northeast Atlantic and equatorial Atlantic regions, are examined. There was a total of 16 cruises with XBTs launched between conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) stations; during most of these, as well as during three additional cruises that were also considered, intake temperature was measured. XBT data from two voluntary observing ships in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre for which intake temperature was measured were also investigated. There is an XBT cold bias due to stirring of a stratified upper layer by the ship, resulting in differences between XBT temperatures at 3–5 m and intake measurements. This is most pronounced for midlatitude spring or summer cruises, when it averages about 0.10°C. When these situations are removed, the comparisons clearly indicate positive biases in XBT temperature measurements in 1999–2006, with individual cruise averages generally between 0° and 0.1°C, and a tendency to have larger biases when surface temperature is high. In addition, a positive depth-estimate bias of the XBTs in the upper thermocline (on the order of 4 m) is identified, as well as a depth overestimation through the profile, averaging 1.7% (1.2%) for the equatorial (midlatitude) cruises (with respect to a previously published depth estimate).

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M. Hamon, G. Reverdin, and P.-Y. Le Traon

Abstract

The authors use a collocation method between XBT and CTD/Ocean Station Data (OSD; including bottle cast and low-resolution CTD) from World Ocean Database 2005 (WOD2005) to statistically correct the XBT fall rate. An analysis of the annual median bias on depth shows that it is necessary to apply a thermal correction, a second-order correction on the depth, as well as a depth offset representing measurement errors during XBT deployment. Data were separated into several categories: shallow and deep XBTs and below or above 10°C of vertically averaged ocean temperatures (in the top 400 m). Also, XBT measurements in the western Pacific between 1968 and 1985 were processed separately because of large regional biases. The estimated corrections deviate from other published estimates with some large variations in time of both linear and curvature terms in the depth corrections, and less time variation of the temperature correction for the deep XBTs. This analysis of heat content derived from corrected XBTs provides at first order a similar variability to other estimates from corrected XBTs and mechanical bathythermographs (MBTs). It shows a fairly prominent trend in 0–700-m ocean heat content of 0.39 × 1022 J yr−1 between 1970 and 2008.

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G. Reverdin, J. Boutin, A. Lourenco, P. Blouch, J. Rolland, P. P. Niiler, W. Scuba, and A. F. Rios

Abstract

Sea surface salinity (SSS) data were collected in the Bay of Biscay between April and November 2005. The major source of data is 15 surface drifters deployed during the COSMOS experiment in early April and early May 2005 [12 from the Scripps Instution of Oceanography (SIO) and 3 from METOCEAN]. This is complemented by thermosalinograph (TSG) data from four French research vessels and four merchant vessels, from salinity profiles collected by Argo profiling floats and CTD casts, and from surface samples during two cruises. Time during the two cruises was dedicated to direct inspection of the drifters, recovering some, and providing validation data. This dataset provides a unique opportunity to estimate the accuracy of the SSS data and to evaluate the long-term performance of the drifter salinities. Some of the TSG SSS data were noisy, presumably from bubbles. The TSG data from the research vessels needed to be corrected from biases, which are very commonly larger than 0.1 pss-78 (practical salinity scale), and which in some instances evolved quickly from day to day. These corrections are only available when samples were collected or ancillary data are available (e.g., from CTD profiles). The resulting accuracy of the corrected TSG dataset, which varies strongly in time, is discussed. The surface drifter SSS data presented anomalous daytime values during days with strong surface warming. These data had to be excluded from the dataset. The drifter SSS presented initial biases in the range 0.009 to −0.026 pss-78. The (usually) negative bias increased by an average of −0.007 pss-78 during the average 65-day period before the COSMOS-2 cruise on 22–27 June. High chlorophyll derived from satellite ocean color, and therefore high density of phytoplanktonic cells, is observed in Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)/Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) composites during part of the period, in particular in late April or early May. No correlation was found between the change in bias and the estimated surface chlorophyll. Evolution during the following summer months is harder to ascertain. For three buoys, there is little change in bias, but for two others, there could have been an increase in bias by up to 0.03 or 0.04 pss-78 during July–August. Seven drifters were recovered in the autumn, which provide recovery or postrecovery estimates of the biases, suggesting in three cases (out of seven) a large (0.02–0.03 pss-78) increase in bias during the autumn months, but no significant increase for the other four drifters.

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D. Bourras, H. Branger, G. Reverdin, L. Marié, R. Cambra, L. Baggio, C. Caudoux, G. Caudal, S. Morisset, N. Geyskens, A. Weill, and D. Hauser

Abstract

The present paper describes a new type of floating platform that was specifically designed for estimating air–sea fluxes, investigating turbulence characteristics in the atmospheric surface boundary layer, and studying wind–wave interactions. With its design, it can be deployed in the open ocean or in shallow-water areas. The system is designed to be used from a research vessel. It can operate for ~10 h as a drifting wave rider and 3 h under power. Turbulence and meteorological instrument packages are placed at a low altitude (1–1.5 m). It was deployed for validation purposes during the Front de Marée, Variabilité (FROMVAR), 2011 experiment off the west coast of Brittany, France. Wind friction velocity and surface turbulent buoyancy flux were estimated using eddy covariance, spectral, bulk, and profile methods. The comparisons of the four methods show a reasonable agreement except for the spectral buoyancy flux. This suggests that the platform design is correct. Also, the wind measured at a fixed height above the sea shows spectral coherence with wave heights, such that wind and swell are in phase, with the largest wind values on top of swell crests. This result in qualitative agreement with current model predictions supports the capability of the Ocean Coupled to Atmosphere, Research at the Interface with a Novel Autonomous platform (OCARINA) to investigate wind–swell interactions.

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G. Reverdin, S. Morisset, H. Bellenger, J. Boutin, N. Martin, P. Blouch, J. Rolland, F. Gaillard, P. Bouruet-Aubertot, and B. Ward

Abstract

This study describes how the hull temperature (Ttop) measurements from multisensor surface velocity program (SVP) drifters can be combined with other measurements to provide quantitative information on near-surface vertical temperature stratification during large daily cycles. First, Ttop is compared to the temperature measured at 17 -cm depth from a float tethered to the SVP drifter. These 2007–12 SVP drifters present a larger daily cycle by 1%–3% for 1°–2°C daily cycle amplitudes, with a maximum difference close to the local noon. The difference could result from flow around the SVP drifter in the presence of temperature stratification in the top 20 cm of the water column but also from a small influence of internal drifter temperature on Ttop. The largest differences were found for small drifters (Technocean) for very large daily cycles, as expected from their shallower measurements. The vertical stratification is estimated by comparing these hull data with the deeper T or conductivity C measurements from Sea-Bird sensors 25 (Pacific Gyre) to 45 cm (MetOcean) below the top temperature sensor. The largest stratification is usually found near local noon and early afternoon. For a daily cycle amplitude of 1°C, these differences with the upper level are in the range of 3%–5% of the daily cycle for the Pacific Gyre drifters and 6%–10% for MetOcean drifters with the largest values occurring when the midday sun elevation is lowest. The relative differences increase for larger daily cycles, and the vertical profiles become less linear. These estimated stratifications are well above the uncertainty on Ttop.

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G. Reverdin, J. Boutin, N. Martin, A. Lourenco, P. Bouruet-Aubertot, A. Lavin, J. Mader, P. Blouch, J. Rolland, F. Gaillard, and P. Lazure

Abstract

The accuracy of temperature measurements from drifters is first examined for 16 drifters (manufactured either by Metocean Data Systems or by Pacific Gyre) deployed with two temperature sensors in the tropical or North Atlantic Ocean. One of these sensors is the SST thermistor commonly used on Surface Velocity Program (SVP) drifters since the late 1980s; whereas the other sensor is a platinum temperature probe associated with a Seabird conductivity cell. The authors find (for 19 separate deployments) an average positive offset of the SST thermistor measurements in 17 out of 19 cases, exceeding 0.1°C in five instances. Among the five drifters that were at sea for a year or more, two present a large trend in this offset (0.10° and −0.10°C yr−1); and in two other cases, there is a clear annual cycle of the offset, suggesting a dependency on temperature. Offsets in 9 out of 12 drifters with sea time longer than 4 months present a negative trend, but the average trend is not significantly different from zero. The study also examined 29 drifters from four manufacturers equipped only with the usual SST thermistor, but for which either a precise initial temperature measurement was available or a float was attached to provide accurate temperature measurements (for a duration on the order of a month). These comparisons often identify SST biases at or soon after deployment. This initial bias is null (or slightly negative) for the set of Clearwater Instrumentation’s drifters, it is very small for two out of three sets of Technocean drifters, and positive for the third one, as well as for the set of Pacific Gyre drifters (on the order of 0.05°C).

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G. Reverdin, S. Morisset, J. Boutin, N. Martin, M. Sena-Martins, F. Gaillard, P. Blouch, J. Rolland, J. Font, J. Salvador, P. Fernández, and D. Stammer

Abstract

Salinity measurements from 119 surface drifters in 2007–12 were assessed; 80% [Surface Velocity Program with a barometer with a salinity sensor (SVP-BS)] and 75% [SVP with salinity (SVP-S)] of the salinity data were found to be usable, after editing out some spikes. Sudden salinity jumps are found in drifter salinity records that are not always associated with temperature jumps, in particular in the wet tropics. A method is proposed to decide whether and how to correct those jumps, and the uncertainty in the correction applied. Northeast of South America, in a region influenced by the Amazon plume and fresh coastal water, drifter salinity is very variable, but a comparison with data from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite suggests that this variability is usually reasonable. The drifter salinity accuracy is then explored based on comparisons with data from Argo floats and from thermosalinographs (TSGs) of ships of opportunity. SVP-S/SVP-BS drifter records do not usually present significant biases within the first 6 months, but afterward biases sometimes need to be corrected (altogether, 16% of the SVP-BS records). Biases start earlier after 3 months for drifters not protected by antifouling paint. For the few drifters for which large corrections were applied to portions of the record, the accuracy cannot be proven to be better than 0.1 psu, and it cannot be proven to be better than 0.5 psu for data in the largest variability area off northeast South America. Elsewhere, after excluding portions of the records with suspicious salinity jumps or when large corrections were applied, the comparisons rule out average biases in individual drifter salinity record larger than 0.02 psu (midlatitudes) and 0.05 psu (tropics).

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