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David S. Ullman and David Hebert

Abstract

A processing methodology for computation of accurate salinity from measurements with an underway CTD (UCTD) is presented. The UCTD is a rapidly profiling sensor package lacking a pump that relies on instrument motion to produce flow through the conductivity cell. With variable instrument descent rate, the flow through the cell is not constant, and this has important implications for the processing. As expected, the misalignment of the raw temperature and conductivity is found to be a function of the instrument descent rate. Application of a constant temporal advance of conductivity or temperature as is done with pumped CTDs is shown to produce unacceptable salinity spiking. With the descent rate of the UCTD reaching upwards of 4 dbar s−1, the effect of viscous heating of the thermistor is shown to produce a significant salinity error of up to 0.005 psu, and a correction based on previous laboratory work is applied. Correction of the error due to the thermal mass of the conductivity cell is achieved using a previously developed methodology with the correction parameters varying with instrument descent rate. Comparison of salinity from the UCTD with that from a standard shipboard, pumped CTD in side-by-side deployments indicates that the processed UCTD salinity is accurate to better than 0.01 psu.

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Chris Roman, David S. Ullman, Dave Hebert, and Stephen Licht

Abstract

The Wire Flyer towed vehicle is a new platform able to collect high-resolution water column sections. The vehicle is motivated by a desire to effectively capture spatial structures at the submesoscale. The vehicle fills a niche that is not achieved by other existing towed and repeat profiling systems. The Wire Flyer profiles up and down along a ship-towed cable autonomously using controllable wings for propulsion. At ship speeds between 2 and 5 kt (1.02–2.55 m s−1), the vehicle is able to profile over prescribed depth bands down to 1000 m. The vehicle carries sensors for conductivity, temperature, depth, oxygen, turbidity, chlorophyll, pH, and oxidation reduction potential. During normal operations the vehicle is typically commanded to cover vertical regions between 300 and 400 m in height with profiles that repeat at kilometer spacing. The vertical profiling speed can be user specified up to 150 m min−1. The high-density sampling capability at depths below the upper few hundred meters makes the vehicle distinct from other systems. During operations an acoustic modem is used to communicate with the vehicle to provide status information, data samples, and the ability to modify the sampling pattern. This paper provides an overview of the vehicle system, describes its operation, and presents results from several cruises.

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Daniel L. Codiga, Joseph A. Rice, Paul A. Baxley, and David Hebert

Abstract

Through the winter and spring of 2002, networked acoustic modems demonstrated real-time wireless data telemetry from an array of bottom-mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) on the inner continental shelf 20–60 m deep off of Montauk Point, New York. To achieve typical temporal and spatial sampling needs for data assimilative numerical modeling, the array spanned 10 km × 10 km and transmitted data each ∼2 h. Network nodes included five sensors, each an ADCP with acoustic modem housed in a trawl-resistant bottom frame; five repeaters that are individual acoustic modems on near-bottom taut-wire moorings; and two gateways, each a buoy with a subsurface acoustic modem and topside cellular modem allowing for two-way communication with the shore. Deliveries from an ADCP adjacent to the gateway buoy were more than 97% successful through both winter and spring. Deliveries from ADCPs 5 km from the gateway averaged 25% (86%) reliability in winter (spring). Winter performance degrades because of upward-refracting sound speed profiles that limit direct acoustic paths, and strong winds that disrupt sea surface reflectivity and increase ambient noise. Reliability improved up to 36% due to the receive-all gateway mode, and more than doubled for certain node pairs due to a handshake protocol incorporating an automatic repeat request. Shore-based network control demonstrated adaptive sampling by changing ADCP vertical and temporal resolution, and network data path rerouting in response to unplanned events, such as trawling impacts. Networked acoustic modems are well suited for coastal ocean-observing systems, particularly at sites such as this where seafloor cables and surface buoys are vulnerable to fishing and shipping activities.

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Gleb Panteleev, Max Yaremchuk, Jacob Stroh, Pamela Posey, David Hebert, and Dmitri A. Nechaev

Abstract

Monitoring surface currents by coastal high-frequency radars (HFRs) is a cost-effective observational technique with good prospects for further development. An important issue in improving the efficiency of HFR systems is the optimization of radar positions on the coastline. Besides being constrained by environmental and logistic factors, such optimization has to account for prior knowledge of local circulation and the target quantities (such as transports through certain key sections) with respect to which the radar positions are to be optimized.

In the proposed methodology, prior information of the regional circulation is specified by the solution of the 4D variational assimilation problem, where the available climatological data in the Bering Strait (BS) region are synthesized with dynamical constraints of a numerical model. The optimal HFR placement problem is solved by maximizing the reduction of a posteriori error in the mass, heat, and salt (MHS) transports through the target sections in the region. It is shown that the MHS transports into the Arctic and their redistribution within the Chukchi Sea are best monitored by placing HFRs at Cape Prince of Wales and on Little Diomede Island. Another equally efficient configuration involves placement of the second radar at Sinuk (western Alaska) in place of Diomede. Computations show that 1) optimization of the HFR deployment yields a significant (1.3–3 times) reduction of the transport errors compared to nonoptimal positioning of the radars and 2) error reduction provided by two HFRs is an order of magnitude better than the one obtained from three moorings permanently maintained in the region for the last 5 yr. This result shows a significant advantage of BS monitoring by HFRs compared to the more traditional technique of in situ moored observations. The obtained results are validated by an extensive set of observing system simulation experiments.

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John A. Barth, Dave Hebert, Andrew C. Dale, and David S. Ullman

Abstract

By mapping the three-dimensional density field while simultaneously tracking a subsurface, isopycnal float, direct observations of upwelling along a shelfbreak front were made on the southern flank of Georges Bank. The thermohaline and bio-optical fields were mapped using a towed undulating vehicle, and horizontal velocity was measured with a shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler. A subsurface isopycnal float capable of measuring diapycnal flow past the float was acoustically tracked from the ship. The float was released near the foot of the shelfbreak front (95–100-m isobath) and moved 15 km seaward as it rose from 80 to 50 m along the sloping frontal isopycnals over a 2-day deployment. The float's average westward velocity was 0.09 m s−1, while a drifter drogued at 15 m released at the same location moved westward essentially alongfront at 0.18 m s−1. The float measured strong downward vertical velocities (in excess of 0.02 m s−1) associated with propagation of internal tidal solibores in the onbank direction from their formation near the shelf break. The float measured large upward vertical velocities (in excess of 0.001 m s−1 ≃ 100 m day−1) as the pycnocline rebounded adiabatically after the passage of the internal tide solibore. The directly measured mean along-isopycnal vertical velocity was 17.5 m day−1. Intense mixing events lasting up to 2 hours were observed in the shelfbreak front at the boundary between cold, fresh shelf water and warm, salty slope water. Diapycnal velocities of up to 3 × 10−3 m s−1 were measured, implying a diapycnal thermal diffusivity as large as 10−2 m2 s−1, indicative of strong mixing events in this coastal front.

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