Accuracy of current profile measurements: Effect of tropical and midlatitude internal waves.

Send, Uwe (1994) Accuracy of current profile measurements: Effect of tropical and midlatitude internal waves. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 99 (C8). pp. 16229-16236. DOI 10.1029/94JC01402.

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Abstract

The effect of midlatitude and tropical internal wave variability on current profile measurements is investigated and quantified to yield practical error estimates. First, a data set of Pegasus current profiles from the tropical Atlantic (6°S to 6°N) is analyzed for their rms down/up differences, which are compared with predictions from Garrett‐Munk type internal wave theory and with statistics derived from current meter moorings in the same region. The agreement in terms of amplitudes and vertical distribution proves that most of those differences are due to internal waves and not instrumental errors. Nonetheless, this is the noise of the measurements, if low‐frequency motions are sought, and the errors can thus be quantified using the same internal wave theories. At midlatitudes the error variance is the usual 44(N/3 cph) cm2/s2 with some latitude dependence, and the effect of averaging in the vertical or summing several profiles (e.g., up and down) is estimated. The same is done for equatorial situations, where construction of a crude equatorial frequency spectrum for internal waves yields 77(N/3 cph)cm2/s2 for the error variance. Again, error reduction due to averaging is estimated.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/94JC01402
ISSN: 2169-9275
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2018 11:37
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2018 11:37
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/43415

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