Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale characterization from multi-platform experiments: anticipating SWOT launch

Ananda Pascual (IMEDEA, France)


Guillaume Valladeau (CLS, France); Nicolas Picot (CNES, France); Annabelle Ollivier (CLS, France); Gérald Dibarboure (CLS, France); Pascal Bonnefond (Observatoire de Paris - SYRTE, France); Francesco d'Ovidio (LOCEAN, France)

Event: 2016 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Regional and Global CAL/VAL for Assembling a Climate Data Record

Presentation type: Type Oral

Since the early 90’s, several altimetry missions provide accurate measurements of sea surface height. The overall quality assessment of altimeter data can be performed by analyzing their internal consistency and the cross-comparison between all missions. As a complementary approach, in-situ measurements (including CTD, ADCP, gliders, drifters, HF radar, tide gauges, moorings…) are used as an external and independent reference to enable further quality assessment of the altimeter sea level and provide a better estimate of the multiple altimeter performances.

Considered as a new generation of altimetry mission and a big breakthrough in Earth observation, the wide-swath SWOT mission, embedding a Ka-band Radar Interferometer instrument (KaRIn), will provide simultaneous high-resolution and large coverage images to characterize meso- and sub-mesoscale 2D surface ocean circulation. In order to fulfill its primary objectives and anticipate the 2D SSH fields that will be provided by SWOT, this study aims to identify the multiple in-situ techniques available for the monitoring of the mesoscale and sub-mesoscale structures and their contribution to the ocean upper-layer dynamics. Thanks to the combination of such external and independent instruments, the comparison with SWOT will be facilitated.

We propose to design and conduct a high-resolution international experiment in the Western Mediterranean Sea, where mesoscale and sub-mesoscale processes include the formation, evolution and dissipation of eddy variability associated with narrow currents, fronts, filaments and quasi-geostrophic turbulence. Special attention will be devoted to separate the scales typically resolved by the present altimeter gridded products constellation (i.e. order 100 km) compared to the scales that will be observed by SWOT (wavelengths down to 15-50 km). This experiment, proposed for 2018, will contribute to the preparatory cal/val activities of the forthcoming SWOT mission that will provide daily high resolution sea surface height measurements during the fast phase after launch.

Poster show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Grande Halle Thu, Nov 03 2016,11:00 Thu, Nov 03 2016,18:00
Ananda Pascual