Combining Inverted Echo Sounder and Horizontal Electric Field Recorder Measurements to Obtain Absolute Velocity Profiles Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Profiles of absolute velocity are difficult to obtain in the ocean, especially over long periods of time at the same location. This paper presents a method of estimating full water column absolute horizontal velocity profiles as a function of time by combining historical hydrography with the measurements from two separate instruments, the inverted echo sounder (IES) and the horizontal electric field recorder (HEFR). Hydrography is used to construct temperature, salinity, and specific volume anomaly characteristics as functions of the independent variables pressure and seafloor-to-sea-surface round-trip acoustic travel time (tau). Each IES measured tau is combined with these two-dimensional characteristics to estimate the profile of specific volume anomaly, which then is integrated vertically to obtain profiles of geopotential height anomaly (Deltaphi). Profiles of Deltaphi from adjacent IES sites are differenced to yield vertical profiles of relative geostrophic velocity. Horizontal electric fields arising from the vertically averaged horizontal water velocity provide the requisite referencing of the IES-derived relative velocities. Comparisons are presented between HEFR+IES absolute velocities in the Southern Ocean near 51degreesS, 143.5degreesE and absolute velocities determined via hydrography, acoustic Doppler current profiler, and current meter.

publication date

  • October 2002