Small-scale and high-frequency SSH variability inferred from in-situ measurements in support of AirSWOT

James Girton (University of Washington, United States)


Zhongxiang Zhao (University of Washington, USA); Tom Farrar (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA); Yi Chao (Remote Sensing Solutions, USA)

Event: 2015 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science II: Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale ocean processes: current understanding and preparation for SWOT

Presentation type: Type Poster

In April 2015 a small army of investigators was mobilized to aid in
site selection and in-situ data collection for an AirSWOT validation
campaign in the coastal ocean off Monterey Bay, California. We report
here on measurements of dynamic height and velocity collected by
profiling floats (EM-APEX), under-way CTD (UCTD), surface drifters,
and shore-based HF Radar, and their relationship to satellite
sea-surface height (SSH) from AltiKa, sea-surface temperature (SST)
imagery, and coastal ROMS forecasts.

While the height comparisons among the various platforms are
encouraging, the spatial resolution of the ROMS model limits its
ability to capture submesoscale eddy and frontal features. In
addition, temporal sampling by the EM-APEX floats reveals substantial
SSH variability from the internal tide in certain locations. Velocity
comparisons are more problematic, with HF Radar and ROMS (assimilating
HF Radar data) showing substantially reduced speeds relative to the
surface drifters and profiling floats.

Subsurface structures sampled in space and time by the UCTD and
EM-APEX, along with high-resolution SST imagery, illustrate the
complexity and rapidly-evolving state of the submesoscale field off
Monterey and clarify the challenges of observing these types of
features from AirSWOT and SWOT.


Poster show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Grand Ballroom Foyer Thu, Oct 22 2015,11:00 Thu, Oct 22 2015,18:00
James Girton
University of Washington
United States