Reconstructing the ocean's interior from surface data
Flierl, Glenn R.
LaCasce, Joseph H.
McClean, Julie L.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordEddies; Ocean dynamics; Potential vorticity; Surface pressure; Surface temperature; Inverse methods
A new method is proposed for extrapolating subsurface velocity and density fields from sea surface density and sea surface height (SSH). In this, the surface density is linked to the subsurface fields via the surface quasigeostrophic (SQG) formalism, as proposed in several recent papers. The subsurface field is augmented by the addition of the barotropic and first baroclinic modes, whose amplitudes are determined by matching to the sea surface height (pressure), after subtracting the SQG contribution. An additional constraint is that the bottom pressure anomaly vanishes. The method is tested for three regions in the North Atlantic using data from a high-resolution numerical simulation. The decomposition yields strikingly realistic subsurface fields. It is particularly successful in energetic regions like the Gulf Stream extension and at high latitudes where the mixed layer is deep, but it also works in less energetic eastern subtropics. The demonstration highlights the possibility of reconstructing three-dimensional oceanic flows using a combination of satellite fields, for example, sea surface temperature (SST) and SSH, and sparse (or climatological) estimates of the regional depth-resolved density. The method could be further elaborated to integrate additional subsurface information, such as mooring measurements.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 1611–1626, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0204.1.
Suggested CitationArticle: Wang, Jinbo, Flierl, Glenn R., LaCasce, Joseph H., McClean, Julie L., Mahadevan, Amala, "Reconstructing the ocean's interior from surface data", Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 1611–1626, DOI:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0204.1, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/6218
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Wells, Andrew J.; Cenedese, Claudia; Farrar, J. Thomas; Zappa, Christopher J. (American Meteorological Society, 2009-11)The aqueous thermal boundary layer near to the ocean surface, or skin layer, has thickness O(1 mm) and plays an important role in controlling the exchange of heat between the atmosphere and the ocean. Theoretical arguments ...
An observing system simulation experiment for the calibration and validation of the surface water ocean topography sea surface height measurement using in situ platforms Wang, Jinbo; Fu, Lee-Lueng; Qiu, Bo; Menemenlis, Dimitris; Farrar, J. Thomas; Chao, Yi; Thompson, Andrew F.; Flexas, M. Mar (American Meteorological Society, 2018-02-07)The wavenumber spectrum of sea surface height (SSH) is an important indicator of the dynamics of the ocean interior. While the SSH wavenumber spectrum has been well studied at mesoscale wavelengths and longer, using both ...
Ocean preconditioning of Cyclone Nargis in the Bay of Bengal : interaction between Rossby waves, surface fresh waters, and sea surface temperatures Yu, Lisan; McPhaden, Michael J. (American Meteorological Society, 2011-09)An in-depth data analysis was conducted to understand the occurrence of a strong sea surface temperature (SST) front in the central Bay of Bengal before the formation of Cyclone Nargis in April 2008. Nargis changed its ...