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Measurement of Small-Scale Surface Velocity and Turbulent Kinetic Energy Dissipation Rates Using Infrared Imaging

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  • 1 Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • 2 University of Miami, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

Short-range infrared (IR) observations of ocean surface reveal complicated spatially varying and evolving structures. Here we present an approach to use spatially correlated time series IR images, over a time scale of one-tenth of a second, of the water surface to derive underlying surface velocity and turbulence fields. The approach here was tested in a laboratory using grid-generated turbulence and a heater assembly. The technique was compared with in situ measurements to validate our IR-derived remote measurements. The IR-measured turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rates were consistent with in situ–measured dissipation using a vertical microstructure profiler (VMP). We used measurements of the gradient of the velocity field to calculate TKE dissipation rates at the surface. Based on theoretical and experimental considerations, we have proposed two models of IR TKE dissipation rate retrievals and designed an approach for oceanic field IR applications.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Shelby Metoyer, smetoyer1@islander.tamucc.edu

Abstract

Short-range infrared (IR) observations of ocean surface reveal complicated spatially varying and evolving structures. Here we present an approach to use spatially correlated time series IR images, over a time scale of one-tenth of a second, of the water surface to derive underlying surface velocity and turbulence fields. The approach here was tested in a laboratory using grid-generated turbulence and a heater assembly. The technique was compared with in situ measurements to validate our IR-derived remote measurements. The IR-measured turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rates were consistent with in situ–measured dissipation using a vertical microstructure profiler (VMP). We used measurements of the gradient of the velocity field to calculate TKE dissipation rates at the surface. Based on theoretical and experimental considerations, we have proposed two models of IR TKE dissipation rate retrievals and designed an approach for oceanic field IR applications.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Shelby Metoyer, smetoyer1@islander.tamucc.edu
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