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Ocean Vector Wind Working Group meeting, October 7, 2013, Boulder. N. Maximenko : Satellite ocean surface currents and winds. Surface currents are not well measured. 3659 active Argo floats (3659 / 10 days * 10 hours ≈ 152 continuous sites).

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slide1

Ocean Vector Wind Working Group meeting, October 7, 2013, Boulder

N. Maximenko: Satellite ocean surface currents and winds

Surface currents are not well measured

3659 active Argo floats

(3659 / 10 days * 10 hours ≈ 152 continuous sites)

1,051 active drifters (approx. 1 drifter per 4x4 degree bin; probably 30-50% are undrogued)

slide2

Ocean Vector Wind Working Group meeting, October 7, 2013, Boulder

N. Maximenko: Satellite ocean surface currents and winds

Surface currents are not well modeled

Why even most reputable models do not care about discrepancy with observations?

(Jim Potemra, 5th Int. Marine Debris Conference, 2011)

slide3

Ocean Vector Wind Working Group meeting, October 7, 2013, Boulder

N. Maximenko: Satellite ocean surface currents and winds

Global circulation can be modeled without knowing surface currents

Ekman balance:

=(1/ρ)∙τ

Vertically integrated Ekman transport:

I.e. forcing of subsurface ocean is not sensitive to K(z) or other mechanisms of

momentum transfer between atmosphere and ocean (e.g. radiation, injection, etc.)

(Note that equations allow wind-induced surface currents to exceed surface wind.)

Having surface currents and winds measured by the same satellite would be a step

toward understanding mechanical interaction in the coupled system. (The coupling

starts with the correspondence between winds in the atmospheric boundary layer and

currents in the ocean Ekman layer and leads to coupling in vertical motions with

implications to patterns of E&P, SSS, chlorophyll, etc.)

slide4

Effect of near-shore wind extends into

central oceans

Ocean Vector Wind Working Group meeting, October 7, 2013, Boulder

N. Maximenko: Satellite ocean surface currents and winds

Chelton et al. 2004, Science

Qiu et al. 1997, JPO

HLC

HLCC

Xie et al. 2001, Science

NEC

Persistent striations in long-term mean high-pass filtered

dynamic ocean topography (Maximenko et al., 2008)

Generation of beta-plume

← Rossby waves

Curl > 0

Cyclonic eddies

Anticyclonic eddies

Yoshida et al. 2010, JGR

High-resolution of wind, including near-shore areas,

is important to study mesoscale ocean currents.