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Thomas B. Sanford
,
Robert G. Driver
, and
John H. Dunlap

Abstract

A freely failing current meter called the Absolute Velocity Profiler (AVP) is described. This profiler is an expansion of a previously developed instrument, the Electro-Magnetic Velocity Profiler (EMVP), with the additional capability of acoustic Doppler (AD) measurements to determine the reference velocity for the EM profiles. The AVP measures the motional electric currents in the sea and the Doppler frequency shin of bottom-scattered echoes. The EM measurements yield a profile of the horizontal components of velocity relative to a depth-independent reference velocity; the AD measurements determine the absolute velocity of the AVP with respect to the seafloor. The EM profile is obtained from the sea surface to the bottom, and the AD measurements are obtained within about 60–300 m of the seafloor. The combination of the EM and AD measurements yields an absolute velocity profile throughout the water column. Performance analyses show the method is accurate to within 1–2 cm s−1 rms. The profiler also measures temperature and its gradient.

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Thomas B. Sanford
,
James A. Carlson
,
John H. Dunlap
,
Mark D. Prater
, and
Ren-Chieh Lien

Abstract

An instrument has been developed that measures finescale velocity and vorticity in seawater based on the principles of motional induction. This instrument, the electromagnetic vorticity meter (EMVM), measures components of the gradient and Laplacian of the electrostatic potential field induced by the motion of seawater through an applied magnetic field. The principal innovation described here is the development of a sensor for measuring small-scale vorticity. The sensor head consists of a strong NdFeB magnet, a five-electrode array, low-noise preamplifiers, and 20-Hz digitizers. The main electronics includes attitude sensors, batteries, a microprocessor, and a hard disk. The vorticity sensors are usually carried on a heavy towed vehicle capable of vertically profiling to 200 m and at tow speeds of several knots.

The theoretical response functions of the EMVM are evaluated for velocity and vorticity. Extensive measurements were obtained in Pickering Passage, Washington, as the sensor vertically profiled in an unstratified tidal channel. During periods of strong flow, the vertical structure of all properties confirmed expectations for a fully developed turbulent bottom boundary layer. EMVM observations of velocity and vorticity are shown to be in agreement with the theoretical response function for isotropic turbulence. A principal result is that the vertical flux of spanwise vorticity (i.e., wω y ) is positive (i.e., flux is away from seabed) and vertically uniform. The vertical eddy diffusivity for vorticity is about 5 × 10−2 m2 s−1, which is about the same value as for momentum.

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