Eriksen Charles C.

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Charles C.

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  • Article
    Eddy vertical structure and variability: deepglider observations in the North Atlantic
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-05-23) Steinberg, Jacob M. ; Eriksen, Charles C.
    Hundreds of full-depth temperature and salinity profiles collected by Deepglider autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in the North Atlantic reveal robust signals in eddy isopycnal vertical displacement and horizontal current throughout the entire water column. In separate glider missions southeast of Bermuda, subsurface-intensified cold, fresh coherent vortices were observed with velocities exceeding 20 cm s−1 at depths greater than 1000 m. With vertical resolution on the order of 20 m or less, these full-depth glider slant profiles newly permit estimation of scaled vertical wavenumber spectra from the barotropic through the 40th baroclinic mode. Geostrophic turbulence theory predictions of spectral slopes associated with the forward enstrophy cascade and proportional to inverse wavenumber cubed generally agree with glider-derived quasi-universal spectra of potential and kinetic energy found at a variety of locations distinguished by a wide range of mean surface eddy kinetic energy. Water-column average spectral estimates merge at high vertical mode number to established descriptions of internal wave spectra. Among glider mission sites, geographic and seasonal variability implicate bottom drag as a mechanism for dissipation, but also the need for more persistent sampling of the deep ocean.
  • Article
    Salinity and temperature balances at the SPURS central mooring during fall and winter
    (The Oceanography Society, 2015-03) Farrar, J. Thomas ; Rainville, Luc ; Plueddemann, Albert J. ; Kessler, William S. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Schmitt, Raymond W. ; Edson, James B. ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Eriksen, Charles C. ; Fratantoni, David M.
    One part of the Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS) field campaign focused on understanding the physical processes affecting the evolution of upper-ocean salinity in the region of climatological maximum sea surface salinity in the subtropical North Atlantic (SPURS-1). An upper-ocean salinity budget provides a useful framework for increasing this understanding. The SPURS-1 program included a central heavily instrumented mooring for making accurate measurements of air-sea surface fluxes, as well as other moorings, Argo floats, and gliders that together formed a dense observational array. Data from this array are used to estimate terms in the upper-ocean salinity and heat budgets during the SPURS-1 campaign, with a focus on the first several months (October 2012 to February 2013) when the surface mixed layer was becoming deeper, fresher, and cooler. Specifically, we examine the salinity and temperature balances for an upper-ocean mixed layer, defined as the layer where the density is within 0.4 kg m–3 of its surface value. The gross features of the evolution of upper-ocean salinity and temperature during this fall/winter season are explained by a combination of evaporation and precipitation at the sea surface, horizontal transport of heat and salt by mixed-layer currents, and vertical entrainment of fresher, cooler fluid into the layer as it deepened. While all of these processes were important in the observed seasonal (fall) freshening at this location in the salinity-maximum region, the variability of salinity on monthly-to-intraseasonal time scales resulted primarily from horizontal advection.
  • Article
    Observations of seasonal subduction at the Iceland-Faroe Front
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-06-12) Beaird, Nicholas ; Rhines, Peter B. ; Eriksen, Charles C.
    The polar front in the North Atlantic is bound to the ridge between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, where about one-half of the northward transport of warm Atlantic Water into the Nordic Seas occurs, as well as about one sixth of the equatorward dense overflow. We find a low salinity water mass at the surface of the Iceland-Faroe Front (IFF), which in wintertime subducts along outcropping isopycnals and is found in much modified form on the Atlantic side of the Iceland-Faroe Ridge (IFR) crest. The features found on the Atlantic side of the crest at depth have temperature and salinity characteristics which are clearly traceable to the surface outcrop of the IFF. The presence of coherent low salinity layers on the Atlantic side of the IFR crest has not been previously reported. Warm waters above the IFR primarily feed the Faroe Current, and injection of a low salinity water mass may play an early role in the water mass transformation taking place in the Nordic Seas. The seasonality of the intrusive features suggests a link between winter convection, mixed layer instability and deep frontal subduction. These low salinity anomalies (as well as a low oxygen water mass from the Iceland Basin) can be used as tracers of the intermediate circulation over the IFR.
  • Article
    Autonomous multi-platform observations during the Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study
    (Oceanography Society, 2017-06) Lindstrom, Eric ; Shcherbina, Andrey Y. ; Rainville, Luc ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Dong, Shenfu ; D'Asaro, Eric A. ; Eriksen, Charles C. ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Hormann, Verena ; Kessler, William S. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Riser, Stephen C. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Volkov, Denis L.
    The Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS) aims to understand the patterns and variability of sea surface salinity. In order to capture the wide range of spatial and temporal scales associated with processes controlling salinity in the upper ocean, research vessels delivered autonomous instruments to remote sites, one in the North Atlantic and one in the Eastern Pacific. Instruments sampled for one complete annual cycle at each of these two sites, which are subject to contrasting atmospheric forcing. The SPURS field programs coordinated sampling from many different platforms, using a mix of Lagrangian and Eulerian approaches. This article discusses the motivations, implementation, and first results of the SPURS-1 and SPURS-2 programs.
  • Thesis
    Measurements and models of fine-structure, internal gravity waves and wave breaking in the deep ocean
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1976-09) Eriksen, Charles C.
    Measurements of horizontal and vertical current by propeller cluster current meters and temperature by thermistors mounted on a rigid array 8 m high and 20 m long moored in the oceanic main thermocline near Bermuda are interpreted in terms of thermocline-trapped internal wave modes in the presence of temperature and density fine-structure. Two turning-point uniformly valid asymptotic solutions to the internal wave equation are developed to describe the wave functions. Mode decay beyond the turning point in depth or frequency produces a sharp cutoff in vertical current spectra above the local buoyancy frequency N(z). An internal wave wavenumber-frequency spectral model Ε(α,ω) = E(ω/No)-2 (α./α0)-2 describes vertical current spectra and potential energy to horizontal kinetic energy ratios. The red wavenumer shape suppresses peaks in both these quantities at frequencies near N(z). The data are consistent with time-averaged horizontal isotropy of the wave field. A dip in the vertical current spectra at 0.5 cph not predicted by the model appears related to the bottom slope. Temperature fine-structure is modeled as a passive vertical field advected by internal waves. Quasi-permanent fine-scale features of the stratification and vertically small-scale internal waves are indistinguishable in this study. The model of McKean (1974) is generalized to include fine-structure fields specified by their vertical wavenumber spectra as well as different Poisson-distributed layer models. Together with the trapped internal wave model, moored temperature spectra, temperature vertical difference spectra, and coherence over vertical separations are described using a fine-structure vertical wavenumber spectrum PT(k) =ATk-5/2 which agrees with other spectra made using vertical profiling instruments in the range 0.1 to 1.0 cpm. Horizontal current fine-structure is also modeled as a passive field advected vertically by long internal waves. The model describes moored horizontal current spectra (least successfully at frequencies near N(z)) and finite-difference vertical shear spectra. Contours of temperature in depth versus time indicate possible mixing events. These events appear concurrently with high shear and Richardson numbers O. 25≤ R ≤ 1.0. Over 7 m a cutoff in Ri at 0.25 is observed, indicating saturation of the internal wave spectrum. Spectra of finite-difference approximations to shear and buoyancy frequency are dominated by fine-structure contributions over nearly the whole internal wave range, suggesting that breaking is enhanced by fine-structure. Breaking appears equally likely at all frequencies in the internal wave range.