Four Current Meter Models Compared in Strong Currents in Drake Passage Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Seven current meters representing four models on a stiffly buoyed mooring were placed for an 11-month deployment to intercompare their velocity measurements: two vector-measuring current meters (VMCMs), two Aanderaa recording current meter (RCM) 11s, two Aanderaa SEAGUARDs, and a Nortek Aquadopp. The current meters were placed 6-m apart from each other at about 4000-m depth in an area of Drake Passage expected to have strong currents, nearly independent of depth near the bottom. Two high-current events occurred in bursts of semidiurnal pulses lasting several days, one with peak speeds up to 67 cm s?1 and the other above 35 cm s?1. The current-speed measurements all agreed within 7% of the median value when vector averaged over simultaneous time intervals. The VMCMs, chosen as the reference measurements, were found to measure the median of the mean-current magnitudes. The RCM11 and SEAGUARD current speeds agreed within 2% of the median at higher speeds (35–67 cm s?1), whereas in lower speed ranges (0–35 cm s?1) the vector-averaged speeds for the RCM11 and SEAGUARD were 4%–5% lower and 3%–5% higher than the median, respectively. The shorter-record Aquadopp current speeds were about 6% higher than the VMCMs over the range (0–40 cm s?1) encountered.

publication date

  • October 2013