Owens W. Brechner

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Owens
First Name
W. Brechner
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0000-0001-8593-6024

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  • Article
    The equatorial current system west of the Galapagos Islands during the 2014-16 El Niño as observed by underwater gliders
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-12-21) Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Todd, Robert E.
    The strong El Niño of 2014–16 was observed west of the Galápagos Islands through sustained deployment of underwater gliders. Three years of observations began in October 2013 and ended in October 2016, with observations at longitudes 93° and 95°W between latitudes 2°N and 2°S. In total, there were over 3000 glider-days of data, covering over 50 000 km with over 12 000 profiles. Coverage was superior closer to the Galápagos on 93°W, where gliders were equipped with sensors to measure velocity as well as temperature, salinity, and pressure. The repeated glider transects are analyzed to produce highly resolved mean sections and maps of observed variables as functions of time, latitude, and depth. The mean sections reveal the structure of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC), the South Equatorial Current, and the equatorial front. The mean fields are used to calculate potential vorticity Q and Richardson number Ri. Gradients in the mean are strong enough to make the sign of Q opposite to that of planetary vorticity and to have Ri near unity, suggestive of mixing. Temporal variability is dominated by the 2014–16 El Niño, with the arrival of depressed isopycnals documented in 2014 and 2015. Increases in eastward velocity advect anomalously salty water and are uncorrelated with warm temperatures and deep isopycnals. Thus, vertical advection is important to changes in heat, and horizontal advection is relevant to changes in salt. Implications of this work include possibilities for future research, model assessment and improvement, and sustained observations across the equatorial Pacific.
  • Article
    The Argo Program : observing the global ocean with profiling floats
    (Oceanography Society, 2009-06) Roemmich, Dean ; Johnson, Gregory C. ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Davis, Russ E. ; Gilson, John ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Garzoli, Silvia L. ; Schmid, Claudia ; Ignaszewski, Mark
    The Argo Program has created the first global array for observing the subsurface ocean. Argo arose from a compelling scientific need for climate-relevant ocean data; it was made possible by technology development and implemented through international collaboration. The float program and its data management system began with regional arrays in 1999, scaled up to global deployments by 2004, and achieved its target of 3000 active instruments in 2007. US Argo, supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Navy through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, provides half of the floats in the international array, plus leadership in float technology, data management, data quality control, international coordination, and outreach. All Argo data are freely available without restriction, in real time and in research-quality forms. Uses of Argo data range from oceanographic research, climate research, and education, to operational applications in ocean data assimilation and seasonal-to-decadal prediction. Argo’s value grows as its data accumulate and their applications are better understood. Continuing advances in profiling float and sensor technologies open many exciting possibilities for Argo’s future, including expanding sampling into high latitudes and the deep ocean, improving near-surface sampling, and adding biogeochemical parameters.
  • Article
    OneArgo: a new paradigm for observing the global ocean
    (Marine Technology Society, 2022-06) Owens, W. Brechner ; Zilberman, Nathalie ; Johnson, Kenneth S. ; Claustre, Hervé ; Scanderbeg, Megan ; Wijffels, Susan E. ; Suga, Toshio
    OneArgo is a major expansion of the Argo program, which has provided two decades of transformative physical data for the upper 2 km of the global ocean. The present Argo array will be expanded in three ways: (1) Global Core: the existing upper ocean measurements will be extended to high latitudes and marginal seas and with enhanced coverage in the tropics and western boundaries of the major ocean basins; (2) Deep: deep ocean measurements will be obtained for the 50% of the global oceans that are below 2,000-m depth; and (3) Biogeochemical: dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrate, chlorophyll, optical backscatter, and irradiance data will be collected to investigate biogeochemical variability of the upper ocean and the processes by which these cycles respond to a changing climate. The technology and infrastructure necessary for this expansion is now being developed through large-scale regional pilots to further refine the floats and sensors and to demonstrate the utility of these measurements. Further innovation is expected to improve the performance of the floats and sensors and to develop the analyses necessary to provide research-quality data. A fully global OneArgo should be operational within 5–10 years.
  • Article
    Horizontal scales of variability over the Middle Atlantic Bight shelf break and continental rise from finescale observations
    (American Meteorological Society, 2013-01) Todd, Robert E. ; Gawarkiewicz, Glen G. ; Owens, W. Brechner
    Observations with fine horizontal resolution are used to identify the horizontal scales of variability over the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) shelf break and continental rise. Spray gliders collected observations along two alongshelf transects over the continental rise in March–April 2006 and along 16 cross-shelf transects over the shelf break and continental rise during July–October 2007. Horizontal resolution varied from 1 km or finer over the shelf to 6 km in deep water. These observations allow horizontal thermohaline variability offshore of the MAB shelf break to be examined for the first time. Structure functions of temperature and salinity, the mean square difference between observations separated by specified distances, reveal the horizontal spatial scales in the region. Exponential (e-folding) scales of temperature and salinity increase from 8–13 km near the shelf break to about 30 km over the continental rise. Just offshore of the shelf break, alongshelf structure functions exhibit periodicity with a 40–50-km wavelength that matches the wavelength of shelfbreak frontal meanders. Farther offshore, alongshelf structure functions suggest a dominant wavelength of 175–250 km, but these scales are only marginally resolved by the available observations. Examination of structure functions of along-isopycnal salinity (i.e., spice) suggests that interleaving of shelf and slope water masses contributes most of the horizontal variability near the MAB shelf break, but heaving of isopycnals is the primary source of horizontal variability over the continental rise.
  • Article
    Static and dynamic performance of the RBRargo3 CTD
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-10-01) Dever, Mathieu ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Richards, Clark G. ; Wijffels, Susan E. ; Wong, Annie P. S. ; Shkvorets, Igor ; Halverson, Mark ; Johnson, Greg
    The static and dynamic performances of the RBRargo3 are investigated using a combination of laboratory-based and in situ datasets from floats deployed as part of an Argo pilot program. Temperature and pressure measurements compare well to co-located reference data acquired from shipboard CTDs. Static accuracy of salinity measurements is significantly improved using 1) a time lag for temperature, 2) a quadratic pressure dependence, and 3) a unit-based calibration for each RBRargo3 over its full pressure range. Long-term deployments show no significant drift in the RBRargo3 accuracy. The dynamic response of the RBRargo3 demonstrates the presence of two different adjustment time scales: a long-term adjustment O(120) s, driven by the temperature difference between the interior of the conductivity cell and the water, and a short-term adjustment O(5–10) s, associated to the initial exchange of heat between the water and the inner ceramic. Corrections for these effects, including dependence on profiling speed, are developed.
  • Article
    The air-launched autonomous micro observer
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-04-01) Jayne, Steven R. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Robbins, Pelle E. ; Ekholm, Alexander K. ; Bogue, Neil M. ; Sanabia, Elizabeth
    The Air-Launched Autonomous Micro Observer (ALAMO) is a versatile profiling float that can be launched from an aircraft to make temperature and salinity observations of the upper ocean for over a year with high temporal sampling. Similar in dimensions and weight to an airborne expendable bathythermograph (AXBT), but with the same capability as Argo profiling floats, ALAMOs can be deployed from an A-sized (sonobuoy) launch tube, the stern ramp of a cargo plane, or the door of a small aircraft. Unlike an AXBT, however, the ALAMO float directly measures pressure, can incorporate additional sensors, and is capable of performing hundreds of ocean profiles compared to the single temperature profile provided by an AXBT. Upon deployment, the float parachutes to the ocean, releases the air-deployment package, and immediately begins profiling. Ocean profile data along with position and engineering information are transmitted via the Iridium satellite network, automatically processed, and then distributed by the Global Telecommunications System for use by the operational forecasting community. The ALAMO profiling mission can be modified using the two-way Iridium communications to change the profiling frequency and depth. Example observations are included to demonstrate the ALAMO’s utility.
  • Technical Report
    Site L SOFAR float experiment, 1982-1985
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1987-12) Price, James F. ; McKee, Theresa K. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Valdes, James R.
    Lagrangian measurements of low frequency currents in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream and its recirculation region in the western Sargasso Sea were made by tracking SOFAR floats. These floats were tracked using acoustic time of arrival information from an array of five Autonomous Listening Stations {ALSs) which were moored in the western Sargasso Sea. The ALSs performed almost flawlessly, returning over 90 percent of the possible data. Floats were released in three deployments of seven floats each in November 1982, February 1983, and June 1983. The floats were launched in initially coherent arrays (approximately 20 km spacing) at 34°N, 70°W, Site "L", and were ballasted for 700 m depth. The SOFAR floats themselves functioned with somewhat less than expected reliability; four floats failed fairly soon after launch, and several other floats suffered failures of their temperature and pressure telemetry. The majority of the SOFAR floats launched in this program produced long, and interesting trajectories. These new data will be valuable for estimating first order flow statistics in the dynamically important recirculation region, for visualizing interactions between the Gulf Stream and the New England Seamount Chain, and for estimating one and two particle diffusivities in a region of very high eddy energy.
  • Technical Report
    Observed and numerically simulated kinetic energies for MODE eddies
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1980-11) Schmitz, William J. ; Owens, W. Brechner
    It is demonstrated that the outcome of an intercomparison between data and the vertical distribution of eddy kinetic energy predicted by a previously developed numerical model of the MODE area is frequency dependent. In the range of periods from 50 to 150 or even to 400 days (one definition of the temporal mesoscale, the scale that the model was designed to simulate), the comparison is quite good. For periods in the range of 5 to 50 days, the agreement is poor. For periods longer than 400 days , the comparison is indeterminate. Earlier conclusions concerning the relation of model results to the MODE data should be qualified by stipulating frequency range , and future intercomparisons for any model in all regions should be conscious of the desirability of doing so across common frequencies.
  • Preprint
    Estimating sea-ice coverage, draft, and velocity in Marguerite Bay (Antarctica) using a subsurface moored upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP)
    ( 2007-09-14) Hyatt, Jason ; Visbeck, Martin ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Owens, W. Brechner
    A technique for the analysis of data from a subsurface moored upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) to determine ice coverage, draft and velocity is presented and applied to data collected in Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf. This method provides sea ice information when no dedicated upward-looking sonar (ULS) data is available. Ice detection is accomplished using windowed variances of ADCP vertical velocity, vertical error velocity, and surface horizontal speed. ADCP signal correlation and backscatter intensity were poor indicators of the presence of ice at this site. Ice draft is estimated using a combination of ADCP backscatter data, atmospheric and oceanic pressure data, and information about the thermal stratification. This estimate requires corrections to the ADCP-derived range for instrument tilt and sound speed profile. Uncertainties of ± 0.20 m during midwinter and ± 0.40 m when the base of the surface mixed layer is above the ADCP for ice draft are estimated based on (a) a Monte Carlo simulation, (b) uncertainty in the sound speed correction, and (c) performance of the zero-draft estimate during times of known open water. Ice velocity is taken as the ADCP horizontal velocity in the depth bin specified by the range estimate.
  • Article
    On the future of Argo: A global, full-depth, multi-disciplinary array
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-02) Roemmich, Dean ; Alford, Matthew H. ; Claustre, Hervé ; Johnson, Kenneth S. ; King, Brian ; Moum, James N. ; Oke, Peter ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Pouliquen, Sylvie ; Purkey, Sarah G. ; Scanderbeg, Megan ; Suga, Koushirou ; Wijffels, Susan E. ; Zilberman, Nathalie ; Bakker, Dorothee ; Baringer, Molly O. ; Belbeoch, Mathieu ; Bittig, Henry C. ; Boss, Emmanuel S. ; Calil, Paulo H. R. ; Carse, Fiona ; Carval, Thierry ; Chai, Fei ; Conchubhair, Diarmuid Ó. ; d’Ortenzio, Fabrizio ; Dall'Olmo, Giorgio ; Desbruyeres, Damien ; Fennel, Katja ; Fer, Ilker ; Ferrari, Raffaele ; Forget, Gael ; Freeland, Howard ; Fujiki, Tetsuichi ; Gehlen, Marion ; Geenan, Blair ; Hallberg, Robert ; Hibiya, Toshiyuki ; Hosoda, Shigeki ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Jochum, Markus ; Johnson, Gregory C. ; Kang, KiRyong ; Kolodziejczyk, Nicolas ; Körtzinger, Arne ; Le Traon, Pierre-Yves ; Lenn, Yueng-Djern ; Maze, Guillaume ; Mork, Kjell Arne ; Morris, Tamaryn ; Nagai, Takeyoshi ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C. ; Olsen, Are ; Pattabhi Rama Rao, Eluri ; Prakash, Satya ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Schmechtig, Catherine ; Schmid, Claudia ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Sterl, Andreas ; Sutton, Philip J. H. ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Tanhua, Toste ; Thierry, Virginie ; Thomalla, Sandy J. ; Toole, John M. ; Troisi, Ariel ; Trull, Thomas W. ; Turton, Jon ; Velez-Belchi, Pedro ; Walczowski, Waldemar ; Wang, Haili ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Waterhouse, Amy F. ; Waterman, Stephanie N. ; Watson, Andrew J. ; Wilson, Cara ; Wong, Annie P. S. ; Xu, Jianping ; Yasuda, Ichiro
    The Argo Program has been implemented and sustained for almost two decades, as a global array of about 4000 profiling floats. Argo provides continuous observations of ocean temperature and salinity versus pressure, from the sea surface to 2000 dbar. The successful installation of the Argo array and its innovative data management system arose opportunistically from the combination of great scientific need and technological innovation. Through the data system, Argo provides fundamental physical observations with broad societally-valuable applications, built on the cost-efficient and robust technologies of autonomous profiling floats. Following recent advances in platform and sensor technologies, even greater opportunity exists now than 20 years ago to (i) improve Argo’s global coverage and value beyond the original design, (ii) extend Argo to span the full ocean depth, (iii) add biogeochemical sensors for improved understanding of oceanic cycles of carbon, nutrients, and ecosystems, and (iv) consider experimental sensors that might be included in the future, for example to document the spatial and temporal patterns of ocean mixing. For Core Argo and each of these enhancements, the past, present, and future progression along a path from experimental deployments to regional pilot arrays to global implementation is described. The objective is to create a fully global, top-to-bottom, dynamically complete, and multidisciplinary Argo Program that will integrate seamlessly with satellite and with other in situ elements of the Global Ocean Observing System (Legler et al., 2015). The integrated system will deliver operational reanalysis and forecasting capability, and assessment of the state and variability of the climate system with respect to physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystems parameters. It will enable basic research of unprecedented breadth and magnitude, and a wealth of ocean-education and outreach opportunities.
  • Article
    Bifurcation and upwelling of the equatorial undercurrent west of the Galapagos Archipelago
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-03-19) Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Todd, Robert E. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Rudnick, Daniel L.
    The Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) encounters the Galápagos Archipelago on the equator as it flows eastward across the Pacific. The impact of the Galápagos Archipelago on the EUC in the eastern equatorial Pacific remains largely unknown. In this study, the path of the EUC as it reaches the Galápagos Archipelago is measured directly using high-resolution observations obtained by autonomous underwater gliders. Gliders were deployed along three lines that define a closed region with the Galápagos Archipelago as the eastern boundary and 93°W from 2°S to 2°N as the western boundary. Twelve transects were simultaneously occupied along the three lines during 52 days in April–May 2016. Analysis of individual glider transects and average sections along each line show that the EUC splits around the Galápagos Archipelago. Velocity normal to the transects is used to estimate net horizontal volume transport into the volume. Downward integration of the net horizontal transport profile provides an estimate of the time- and areal-averaged vertical velocity profile over the 52-day time period. Local maxima in vertical velocity occur at depths of 25 and 280 m with magnitudes of (1.7 ± 0.6) × 10−5 m s−1 and (8.0 ± 1.6) × 10−5 m s−1, respectively. Volume transport as a function of salinity indicates that water crossing 93°W south (north) of 0.4°S tends to flow around the south (north) side of the Galápagos Archipelago. Comparisons are made between previous observational and modeling studies with differences attributed to effects of the strong 2015/16 El Niño event, the annual cycle of local winds, and varying longitudes between studies of the equatorial Pacific.
  • Article
    The Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent in three generations of global climate models and glider observations
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-10-22) Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Todd, Robert E.
    The Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) is a vital component of the coupled ocean‐atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific. The details of its termination near the Galápagos Islands in the eastern Pacific have an outsized importance to regional circulation and ecosystems. Subject to diverse physical processes, the EUC is also a rigorous benchmark for global climate models (GCMs). Simulations of the EUC in three generations of GCMs are evaluated relative to recent underwater glider observations along 93°W. Simulations of the EUC have improved, but a slow bias of ~36% remains in the eastern Pacific, along with a dependence on resolution. Additionally, the westward surface current is too slow, and stratification is too strong (weak) by ~50% above (within) the EUC. These biases have implications for mixing in the equatorial cold tongue. Downstream lies the Galápagos, now resolved to varying degrees by GCMs. Properly representing the Galápagos is necessary to avoid new biases as the EUC improves.
  • Article
    On the characteristics of Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions to the west Antarctic Peninsula Continental Shelf
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-05-19) Moffat, Carlos F. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Beardsley, Robert C.
    Hydrographic and current velocity observations collected from March 2001 to February 2003 on the west Antarctic Peninsula shelf as part of the Southern Ocean Global Ecosystems Dynamics program are used to characterize intrusions of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) and Lower Circumpolar Deep Water (LCDW) onto the shelf and Marguerite Bay. UCDW is found on the middle and outer shelf along Marguerite Trough, which connects the shelf break to Marguerite Bay, and at another location farther south. UCDW intrudes in the form of frequent (four per month) and small horizontal scales (≈4 km) warm eddy-like structures with maximum vertical scales of a few hundred meters. However, no evidence of UCDW intrusions was found in Marguerite Bay. LCDW was found in several deep depressions connected to the shelf break, including Marguerite Trough, forming a tongue of relatively dense water 95 m thick (on average) that reaches into Marguerite Bay through Marguerite Trough. A steady advective-diffusive balance for the LCDW intrusion is used to make an estimation of the average upwelling rate and diffusivity in the deep layer within Marguerite Trough, which suggest the LCDW layer is renewed approximately every six weeks.
  • Technical Report
    Gulf Stream recirculation experiment - Part II
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1989-09) Wooding, Christine M. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Zemanovic, Marguerite E. ; Valdes, James R.
    This report presents trajectories and time series of velocity, pressure, and temperature for twelve neutrally-buoyant floats launched during the Gulf Stream Recirculation EXperiment (GUSREX) and two from earlier experiments, that continued to operate after May 1982. These float data were obtained from Autonomous Listening Stations (ALSs) deployed from May 1982 to August 1985.
  • Technical Report
    An exploration of the North Atlantic current and its recirculation in the Newfoundland basin using SOFAR floats
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1990-07) Owens, W. Brechner ; Zemanovic, Marguerite E.
    Trajectories and time series of velocity, temperature, and pressure are presented for 13 neutrally-buoyant, acoustically tracked (SOFAR) floats that were launched in May and June, 1986 in the Newfoundland Basin by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution SOFAR float operations group. The deployment of these floats and the array of Autonomous Listening Stations (ALS's) used to track the floats was designed to investigate the North Atlantic Current and its possible recirculation. Although there were a number of technical difficulties which reduced the data return for this experiment, we have obtained a total of nearly 12 years of float data for the region at three depths, nominally 700, 1200, and 2000 m. The data obtained from two deployments of ALS's, covering nearly three years, are presented in this report. Of particular note is the strong eddy variability at 700 m depth that is comparable to those found in the Gulf Stream Extension and the entrainment of 2000 m depth floats into the deep western boundary current.
  • Article
    Offshore transport of shelf waters through interaction of vortices with a shelfbreak current
    (American Meteorological Society, 2013-05) Cenedese, Claudia ; Todd, Robert E. ; Gawarkiewicz, Glen G. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Shcherbina, Andrey Y.
    Interactions between vortices and a shelfbreak current are investigated, with particular attention to the exchange of waters between the continental shelf and slope. The nonlinear, three-dimensional interaction between an anticyclonic vortex and the shelfbreak current is studied in the laboratory while varying the ratio ε of the maximum azimuthal velocity in the vortex to the maximum alongshelf velocity in the shelfbreak current. Strong interactions between the shelfbreak current and the vortex are observed when ε > 1; weak interactions are found when ε < 1. When the anticyclonic vortex comes in contact with the shelfbreak front during a strong interaction, a streamer of shelf water is drawn offshore and wraps anticyclonically around the vortex. Measurements of the offshore transport and identification of the particle trajectories in the shelfbreak current drawn offshore from the vortex allow quantification of the fraction of the shelfbreak current that is deflected onto the slope; this fraction increases for increasing values of ε. Experimental results in the laboratory are strikingly similar to results obtained from observations in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB); after proper scaling, measurements of offshore transport and offshore displacement of shelf water for vortices in the MAB that span a range of values of ε agree well with laboratory predictions.
  • Article
    Potential vorticity structure in the North Atlantic western boundary current from underwater glider observations
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-01) Todd, Robert E. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Rudnick, Daniel L.
    Potential vorticity structure in two segments of the North Atlantic’s western boundary current is examined using concurrent, high-resolution measurements of hydrography and velocity from gliders. Spray gliders occupied 40 transects across the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico and 11 transects across the Gulf Stream downstream of Cape Hatteras. Cross-stream distributions of the Ertel potential vorticity and its components are calculated for each transect under the assumptions that all flow is in the direction of measured vertically averaged currents and that the flow is geostrophic. Mean cross-stream distributions of hydrographic properties, potential vorticity, and alongstream velocity are calculated for both the Loop Current and the detached Gulf Stream in both depth and density coordinates. Differences between these mean transects highlight the downstream changes in western boundary current structure. As the current increases its transport downstream, upper-layer potential vorticity is generally reduced because of the combined effects of increased anticyclonic relative vorticity, reduced stratification, and increased cross-stream density gradients. The only exception is within the 20-km-wide cyclonic flank of the Gulf Stream, where intense cyclonic relative vorticity results in more positive potential vorticity than in the Loop Current. Cross-stream gradients of mean potential vorticity satisfy necessary conditions for both barotropic and baroclinic instability within the western boundary current. Instances of very low or negative potential vorticity, which predispose the flow to various overturning instabilities, are observed in individual transects across both the Loop Current and the Gulf Stream.
  • Article
    Enhanced diapycnal diffusivity in intrusive regions of the Drake Passage
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-04-05) Merrifield, Sophia T. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Thurnherr, Andreas M. ; Toole, John M.
    Direct measurements of oceanic turbulent parameters were taken upstream of and across Drake Passage, in the region of the Subantarctic and Polar Fronts. Values of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ε estimated by microstructure are up to two orders of magnitude lower than previously published estimates in the upper 1000 m. Turbulence levels in Drake Passage are systematically higher than values upstream, regardless of season. The dissipation of thermal variance χ is enhanced at middepth throughout the surveys, with the highest values found in northern Drake Passage, where water mass variability is the most pronounced. Using the density ratio, evidence for double-diffusive instability is presented. Subject to double-diffusive physics, the estimates of diffusivity using the Osborn–Cox method are larger than ensemble statistics based on ε and the buoyancy frequency.
  • Article
    Potential Vorticity and Instability in the Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent West of the Galápagos Archipelago
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-08-01) Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Todd, Robert E. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Rudnick, Daniel L.
    The Galápagos Archipelago lies on the equator in the path of the eastward flowing Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC). When the EUC reaches the archipelago, it upwells and bifurcates into a north and south branch around the archipelago at a latitude determined by topography. Since the Coriolis parameter (f) equals zero at the equator, strong velocity gradients associated with the EUC can result in Ertel potential vorticity (Q) having sign opposite that of planetary vorticity near the equator. Observations collected by underwater gliders deployed just west of the Galápagos Archipelago during 2013–16 are used to estimate Q and to diagnose associated instabilities that may impact the Galápagos Cold Pool. Estimates of Q are qualitatively conserved along streamlines, consistent with the 2.5-layer, inertial model of the EUC by Pedlosky. The Q with sign opposite of f is advected south of the Galápagos Archipelago when the EUC core is located south of the bifurcation latitude. The horizontal gradient of Q suggests that the region between 2°S and 2°N above 100 m is barotropically unstable, while limited regions are baroclinically unstable. Conditions conducive to symmetric instability are observed between the EUC core and the equator and within the southern branch of the undercurrent. Using 2-month and 3-yr averages, e-folding time scales are 2–11 days, suggesting that symmetric instability can persist on those time scales.
  • Technical Report
    Southern Ocean GLOBEC moored array and automated weather station data report
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2005-06) Moffat, Carlos F. ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Limeburner, Richard ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Caruso, Michael J. ; Hyatt, Jason
    As part of the U.S. Southern Ocean GLOBEC program, moored time series measurements of temperature, conductivity (salinity), pressure, velocity, and acoustic backscatter were made from March 2001 to March 2003 in and near Marguerite Bay, located on the Antarctic Peninsula western shelf. To monitor surface forcing during the moored array observations, two automatic weather stations (AWSs) were deployed on islands in Marguerite Bay and time series of wind, air temperature, pressure, and relative humidity were collected from May 2001 through March 2003. This report describes the individual moorings, their locations and local bathymetry, the instrumentation used and measurement depths, calibration and data processing steps taken to produce final time series, and basic plots of the final time series. The AWS data acquisition and processing are also described and basic plots of the final meteorological time series presented. Directions are given about how to access the raw and processed moored and AWS data via the SO GLOBEC website (http://globec.whoi.edu/jg/dir/globec/soglobec/).