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Plastic Pollution in the Coastal Oceans: Characterization and Modeling

Lermusiaux, P.F.J., A. Gupta, C.S. Kulkarni, G.R. Flierl, J. Marshall, and T. Peacock, 2019. Plastic Pollution in the Coastal Oceans: Characterization and Modeling. In: OCEANS '19 MTS/IEEE Seattle, 27-31 October 2019, in press.

Since the 19th and early-20th century, plastics have become ubiquitous in every walk of human life. Plastics have outgrown most man-made materials: their global volume production has surpassed that of steel production in the late 1980s. As plastic production continues to rise, its undesirable impacts have become significant throughout the world: from lands to rivers and oceans, from wildlife to livestock and consumables. Solving the global plastic pollution crisis is vital. This task can be broken into two constituent problems: engineering more sustainable alternative materials, and the environmental cleanup of the existing plastic contamination on a global scale, especially in global marine systems. The latter problem is of high importance mainly due to the long decay times of almost all polymeric materials in nature, and thus lies at the core of this work.

Ocean currents and dynamics are required to understand the influx, transport, dispersion, and accumulation of plastic waste in marine systems. Rigorous Lagrangian analyses are essential to understand and predict such transport characteristics. Further, understanding the origins and the prominent sources of the plastics entering the world’s oceans is needed for planning and implementing source mitigation strategies. Identifying regions where plastics are prone to be mixed with the surrounding ecosystems and regions where plastics remain contained is of direct use in planning management and cleanup operations. Finally, it is also ideal to be capable of performing such studies in fully three-dimensional domains as subduction zones and vertical mixing may have key impacts on marine plastic transport.

We first complete a literature survey to review the status of modeling and observing plastics in the oceans. To showcase our capabilities, we then focus on coastal plastic pollution, including the example of Massachusetts Bay, along the New England coast. One of the main objective is to characterize and locate the regions of attraction of plastic pollution originating both from offshore inflows and from river and sewage discharges in the region. We employ the MSEAS primitive equation ocean modeling system to capture the complex oceanic phenomenon in the region of interest, and apply the recently developed method of composition to efficiently and accurately compute the transport of plastic in 3D+time domains. Such study can be most useful in optimizing clean-up efforts in the region.


Stochastic Oceanographic-Acoustic Prediction and Bayesian Inversion for Wide Area Ocean Floor Mapping

Ali, W.H., M.S. Bhabra, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, A. March, and K. Rimpau, 2019. Stochastic Oceanographic-Acoustic Prediction and Bayesian Inversion for Wide Area Ocean Floor Mapping. In: OCEANS '19 MTS/IEEE Seattle, 27-31 October 2019, in press.

The present state-of-the-art technology for mapping ocean bathymetry over wide areas is still very limited. For example, the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), under the joint auspices of the International Hydrographic Organization and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, estimates that completing a medium resolution (of the order of 100 m) mapping of the ocean bathymetry would require about 1,000 ship-years and $3B of funding. A higher resolution (of the order of 1 m) map would require roughly 10 times the time and cost of such a medium resolution map. The proposed Wide Area Ocean Floor Mapping system of the Lincoln Lab would utilize a novel sparse aperture surface-based mapping technique with autonomous vehicles to map the ocean seabed. Preliminary studies indicate that such a system of autonomous vehicles could significantly improve the efficiency of mapping the ocean bathymetry. Specifically, it could potentially decrease the cost by a factor of 50 and decrease the time by a factor of six. In addition, the proposed multi-level autonomy (cooperative beam forming and multiple coordinated collection arrays) would further advance the state of collaborative autonomous ocean systems.

The present paper reviews our development of advanced techniques, modeling schemes, and processing algorithms for their possible application in sparse aperture sonars in the ocean environment. Specifically, we developed and tested novel principled theory and schemes for autonomous sparse aperture surface-based mapping of the bathymetry as well as the ocean interior. We illustrate results in a series of test cases that rigorously and efficiently propagate the effects of uncertain bathymetry on the underwater sound propagation, compute the corresponding prior probability density functions (PDFs), assimilate the sparse observations, and provide the posterior PDFs including the updated bathymetry field.


Wake Eddies and Lee Waves Generated by the North Equatorial Current and Tidal Flows at Peleliu, Palau

Johnston, T.M.S., J.A. MacKinnon, P.L. Colin, P.J. Haley, Jr., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, A.J. Lucas, M.A. Merrifield, S. Merrifield, C. Mirabito, J.D. Nash, C.Y. Ou, M. Siegelman, E. Terrill, A.F. Waterhouse, 2019. Wake Eddies and Lee Waves Generated by the North Equatorial Current and Tidal Flows at Peleliu, Palau, Oceanography, sub-judice.

The North Equatorial Current (NEC) transports water westward across the tropical Pacific into the western Pacific, where it flows past numerous islands and over submarine ridges. As the currents flow over and around this abrupt topography, momentum and energy are transferred downscale into lee waves and wake eddies. At the south point of Peleliu Island, a combination of strong NEC currents and tides flow over a steep, submarine ridge. Small (∼1-km diameter) wake eddies are observed in the lee, generated every tidal cycle. As each eddy recirculates and encounters the incident flow again, the associated front contains interleaving temperature structures with 1–10m horizontal extent. Turbulent dissipation exceeds 10-5 W kg-1 along this tilted and strongly sheared front. Thus energy cascades suddenly from the NEC via the submesoscale to turbulence. Farther downstream, a train of such submesoscale eddies can be seen in spice, extending at least 50 km. Internal lee waves are also observed over the submarine ridge. The mean form drag exerted by the waves (i.e., upward transport of eastward momentum) is sufficient to substantially reduce the westward flow if not for other forcing, and is as large as the bottom drag at about 0.5 Pa. The observed turbulent dissipation rate is also consistent with local dissipation of lee wave energy.


Multiscale multiphysics data-informed modeling for three-dimensional ocean acoustic simulation and prediction

Duda, T.F., Y.-T. Lin, A.E. Newhall, K.R. Helfrich, J.F. Lynch, W.G. Zhang, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, and J. Wilkin, 2019. Multiscale Multiphysics Data-Informed Modeling for Three-Dimensional Ocean Acoustic Simulation and Prediction. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, In press.

Three-dimensional (3D) underwater sound field computations have been used for a few decades to understand sound propagation effects above sloped seabeds and in areas with strong 3D temperature and salinity variations. For an approximate simulation of effects in nature, the necessary 3D sound-speed field can be made from snapshots of temperature and salinity from an operational data-driven regional ocean model. However, these models invariably have resolution constraints and physics approximations that exclude features that can have strong effects on acoustics, example features being strong submesoscale fronts and nonhydrostatic nonlinear internal waves (NNIWs). Here, work to predict NNIW fields to improve 3D acoustic forecasts using an NNIW model nested in a tide-inclusive data-assimilating regional model is reported. The work was initiated under the Integrated Ocean Dynamics and Acoustics project. The project investigated ocean dynamical processes that affect important details of sound-propagation, with a focus on those with strong intermittency (high kurtosis) that are challenging to predict deterministically. Strong internal tides and NNIW are two such phenomena, with the former being precursors to NNIW, often feeding energy to them. Successful aspects of the modeling are reported along with weaknesses and unresolved issues identified in the course of the work.

Sensitivity of the Bay of Bengal upper ocean to different winds and river input conditions

Jana, S., A. Gangopadhyay, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, A. Chakraborty, S. Sil, and P.J. Haley Jr., 2018. Sensitivity of the Bay of Bengal Upper Ocean to Different Winds and River Input Conditions. Journal of Marine Systems, 187, 206–222. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2018.08.001

The sensitivity of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) upper ocean circulation and thermohaline structure to varying wind strengths and river salinity conditions is investigated using a set of long-term mesoscale simulations. The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) simulations differ in their forcing fields for winds (strong vs. weak) and in their representations of river input salinity conditions (seasonally varying estuarine salinity vs. zero salinity). The sensitivities are analyzed in terms of the responses of the surface circulation, thermohaline structure, freshwater plume dispersion, and the coastal upwelling along the western boundary. All the simulations reproduce the main broad-scale features of the Bay, while their magnitudes and variabilities depend on the forcing conditions. The impact of stronger wind is felt at greater depths for temperature than for salinity throughout the domain; however, the impact is realized with vertical distributions that are different in the northern than in the southern Bay.

As expected, the stronger wind-induced enhanced mixing lowers (enhances) the upper ocean temperature (salinity) by 0.2C (0.3 psu), and weakens the near-surface stratification. Moreover, stronger wind enhances eddy activity, strengthens the springtime Western Boundary Current (WBC) and enhances coastal upwelling during spring and summer along the east coast of India. The fresher river input reduces the surface salinity and hence enhances the spreading and intensity of the freshwater plume, stratification, and barrier layer thickness. The lower salinity simulation leads to an eddy-dominant springtime WBC, and enhances the freshness, strength, and southward extent of the autumn East India Coastal Current (EICC). The stronger wind simulations appear to prevent the spreading of the freshwater plume during the summer monsoon due to enhanced mixing. Fresher river input reduces the overall surface salinity by ~0.4 psu; however, it significantly underestimates the salinity near the river mouths, whereas the estuarine salinity river input simulations are closer to reality. These results highlight the importance of river input salinity and realistic strong winds in reducing model biases of high-resolution simulations for the Bay of Bengal.


From weather to ocean predictions: an historical viewpoint

Pinardi, N., L. Cavaleri, P. De Mey, C. Fratianni, I. Huthnance, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, A. Navarra, R. Preller, and S. Tibalidi, 2017. From Weather to Ocean Predictions: an Historical Viewpoint. The Sea. Volume 17, The Science of Ocean Prediction, Part 1, Special Issue, J. Marine Res. 75(3). pp. 103-159. https://doi.org/10.1357/002224017821836789

This paper reviews the historical development of concepts and practices in the science of ocean predictions. It begins with meteorology which conducted the first forecasting experiment in 1950, followed by the wind waves and continuing with tidal and storm surge predictions to arrive at the first successful ocean mesoscale forecast in 1983. The work of Professor A.R.Robinson of Harvard University who produced the first mesoscale ocean predictions for the deep ocean regions is documented for the first time. The scientific and technological developments that made accurate ocean predictions possible are connected with the gradual understanding of the importance of the oceanic mesoscales and their inclusion in the numerical models. Ocean forecasting developed first at the regional level, due to the relatively low computational requirements, but by the end of the nineties it was possible to produce global ocean uncoupled forecasts and coupled ocean-atmosphere seasonal forecasts.


Northern Arabian Sea Circulation-Autonomous Research (NASCar): A Research Initiative Based on Autonomous Sensors

Centurioni, L.R., V. Hormann, L. D. Talley, I. Arzeno, L. Beal, M. Caruso, P. Conry, R. Echols, H. J. S. Fernando, S. N. Giddings, A. Gordon, H. Graber, R. Harcourt, S. R. Jayne, T. G. Jensen, C. M. Lee, P. F. J. Lermusiaux, P. L’Hegaret, A. J. Lucas, A. Mahadevan, J. L. McClean, G. Pawlak, L. Rainville, S. Riser, H. Seo, A. Y. Shcherbina, E. Skyllingstad, J. Sprintall, B. Subrahmanyam, E. Terrill, R. E. Todd, C. Trott, H. N. Ulloa, and H. Wang, 2017. Northern Arabian Sea Circulation-Autonomous Research (NASCar): A Research Initiative Based on Autonomous Sensors. Oceanography 30(2):74–87, https://doi.org/​10.5670/oceanog.2017.224.

The Arabian Sea circulation is forced by strong monsoonal winds and is characterized by vigorous seasonally reversing currents, extreme differences in sea surface salinity, localized substantial upwelling and widespread submesoscale thermohaline structures. Its complicated sea surface temperature patterns are important for the onset and evolution of the Asian Monsoon. Here we describe a program that aims to elucidate the role of upper ocean processes and atmospheric feedbacks in setting the sea surface temperature properties of the region. The wide range of spatial and temporal scales and the difficulty of accessing much of the region with ships due to piracy motivated a novel approach based on state-of-the-art autonomous ocean sensors and platforms. The extensive dataset that is being collected, combined with numerical models and remote sensing data, confirms the role of planetary waves in the reversal of the Somali Current system. These data also document the fast response of the upper equatorial ocean to the monsoon winds through changes in temperature and salinity and the connectivity of the surface currents across the northern Indian Ocean. New observations of thermohaline interleaving structures and mixing in setting the surface temperature properties of the northern Arabian Sea are also discussed.

A Coupled-mode Shallow Water model for tidal analysis: Internal-tide reflection and refraction by the Gulf Stream

Kelly, S.M., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, T. F. Duda, and P.J. Haley Jr., 2016. A Coupled-mode Shallow Water model for tidal analysis: Internal-tide reflection and refraction by the Gulf Stream. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 46, 3661–3679, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-16-0018.1.

A novel hydrostatic coupled-mode shallow water model (CSW) is developed and used to simulate tides in the greater Middle Atlantic Bight region. The model incorporates realistic stratification and topography, an internal tide generating function (ITGF) that provides internal tide forcing from existing surface tide parameters, and dynamical terms that describe linearized wave- mean-flow and mean-density interactions. Several idealized and realistic simulations are used to verify the model. These verification simulations include internal-tide interactions involving topographic coupling and mean-flow coupling, and comparisons with other simpler and more complex nonlinear primitive-equation models. Then, twenty-four simulations of internal tide generation and propagation in the greater Middle Atlantic Bight region are used to identify significant internal-tide interactions with the Gulf Stream. The simulations indicate that locally generated mode-1 internal tides can refract and/or reflect at the Gulf Stream. The redirected internal tides often re-appear at the shelfbreak, where they produce onshore energy fluxes that are intermittent (i.e., noncoherent) because meanders in the Gulf Stream alter their precise location, phase, and amplitude. These results provide an explanation for the anomalous onshore energy fluxes previously observed at the New Jersey Shelfbreak and linked with the generation of nonlinear internal waves.

Internal-tide interactions with the Gulf Stream and Middle Atlantic Bight shelfbreak front

Kelly, S.M. and P.F.J. Lermusiaux, 2016. Internal-tide interactions with the Gulf Stream and Middle Atlantic Bight shelfbreak front. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 121, 6271–6294, doi:10.1002/2016JC011639.

Internal tides in the Middle Atlantic Bight region are noticeably influenced by the presence of the shelfbreak front and the Gulf Stream. To identify the dominant interactions of these waves with subtidal flows, vertical-mode momentum and energy partial di fferential equations are derived for small-amplitude waves in a horizontally and vertically sheared mean flow and in a horizontally and vertically variable density fi eld. First, the energy balances are examined in idealized simulations with mode-1 internal tides propagating across and along the Gulf Stream. Next, the fully-nonlinear dynamics of regional tide-mean flow interactions are simulated with a primitive equation model, which incorporates realistic summer mesoscale features and atmospheric forcing. The summer shelfbreak front, which has horizontally variable strati cation, decreases topographic internal-tide generation by about 10% and alters the wavelengths and arrival times of locally generated mode-1 internal tides on the shelf and in the abyss. The (sub)-mesoscale variability at the front and on the shelf, as well as the summer strati cation itself, also alter the internal tide propagation. The Gulf Stream produces anomalous regions of O(20 mW m2) mode-1 internal-tide energy-flux divergence, which are explained by mean-flow terms in the mode-1 energy balance. Advection explains most tide-mean flow interaction, suggesting that geometric wave theory predicts mode-1 reflection and refraction at the Gulf Stream. Geometric theory predicts that o ffshore-propagating mode-1 internal tides that strike the Gulf Stream at oblique angles (more than thirty degrees from normal) are reflected back to the coastal ocean, preventing their radiation into the central North Atlantic.

Issues and Progress in the Prediction of Ocean Submesoscale Features and Internal Waves

Duda T.F., W.G. Zhang, K.R. Helfrich, A.E. Newhall, Y.-T. Lin, J.F. Lynch, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, P.J. Haley Jr., J. Wilkin, 2014. Issues and Progress in the Prediction of Ocean Submesoscale Features and Internal Waves. OCEANS'14 MTS/IEEE.

Data-constrained dynamical ocean modeling for the purpose of detailed forecasting and prediction continues to evolve and improve in quality. Modeling methods and computational capabilities have each improved. The result is that mesoscale phenomena can be modeled with skill, given sufficient data. However, many submesoscale features are less well modeled and remain largely unpredicted from a deterministic event standpoint, and possibly also from a statistical property standpoint. A multi-institution project is underway with goals of uncovering more of the details of a few submesoscale processes, working toward better predictions of their occurrence and their variability. A further component of our project is application of the new ocean models to ocean acoustic modeling and prediction. This paper focuses on one portion of the ongoing work: Efforts to link nonhydrostatic-physics models of continental-shelf nonlinear internal wave evolution to data-driven regional models. Ocean front-related effects are also touched on.


The “Integrated Ocean Dynamics and Acoustics” (IODA) Hybrid Modeling Effort

Duda, T.F., Y.-T. Lin, A.E. Newhall, K.R. Helfrich, W.G. Zhang, M. Badiey, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, J.A. Colosi, and J.F. Lynch, 2014. The “Integrated Ocean Dynamics and Acoustics” (IODA) Hybrid Modeling Effort, Proceedings of the international conference on Underwater Acoustics - 2014 (UA2014), 621-628.

Regional ocean models have long been integrated with acoustic propagation and scattering models, including work in the 1990s by Robinson and Lee. However, the dynamics in these models has been not inclusive enough to represent submesoscale features that are now known to be very important acoustically. The features include internal waves, thermohaline intrusions, and details of fronts. In practice, regional models predict internal tides at many locations, but the nonlinear steepening of these waves and their conversion to short nonlinear waves is often improperly modeled, because computationally prohibitive nonhydrostatic pressure is needed. To include the small-scale internal waves of tidal origin, a nested hybrid model is under development. The approach is to extract long-wavelength internal tide wave information from tidally forced regional models, use ray methods or mapping methods to determine internal-tide propagation patterns, and then solve two-dimensional high-resolution nonhydrostatic wave models to “fill-in” the internal wave details. The resulting predicted three-dimensional environment is then input to a fully three-dimensional parabolic equation acoustic code. The output from the nested ocean model, run in hindcast mode, is to be compared to field data from the Shallow Water 2006 (SW06) experiment to test and ground truth purposes

Global Analysis of Navier-Stokes and Boussinesq Stochastic Flows using Dynamical Orthogonality

Sapsis, T.P., M.P. Ueckermann and P.F.J. Lermusiaux, 2013. Global Analysis of Navier-Stokes and Boussinesq Stochastic Flows using Dynamical Orthogonality, J. Fluid Mech., 734, 83-113. doi:10.1017/jfm.2013.458

We provide a new framework for the study of fl‡uid ‡flows presenting complex uncertain behavior. Our approach is based on the stochastic reduction and analysis of the governing equations using the dynamically orthogonal field equations. By numerically solving these equations we evolve in a fully coupled way the mean fl‡ow and the statistical and spatial characteristics of the stochastic fl‡uctuations. This set of equations is formulated for the general case of stochastic boundary conditions and allows for the application of projection methods that reduce considerably the computational cost. We analyze the transformation of energy from stochastic modes to mean dynamics, and vice-versa, by deriving exact expressions that quantify the interaction among different components of the fl‡ow. The developed framework is illustrated through specifi…c fl‡ows in unstable regimes. In particular, we consider the ‡flow behind a disk and the Rayleigh–-Bénard convection, for which we construct bifurcation diagrams that describe the variation of the response as well as the energy transfers for different parameters associated with the considered ‡flows. We reveal the low-dimensionality of the underlying stochastic attractor.

Time-Evolving Acoustic Propagation Modeling in a Complex Ocean Environment

Colin, M.E.G.D., T.F. Duda, L.A. te Raa, T. van Zon, P.J. Haley, Jr., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, W.G. Leslie, C. Mirabito, F.P.A. Lam, A.E. Newhall, Y.-T. Lin, J.F. Lynch, 2013. Time-Evolving Acoustic Propagation Modeling in a Complex Ocean Environment, Proceedings of OCEANS - Bergen, 2013 MTS/IEEE , vol., no., pp.1,9, 10-14 June 2013, doi: 10.1109/OCEANS-Bergen.2013.6608051.

During naval operations, sonar performance estimates often need to be computed in-situ with limited environmental information. This calls for the use of fast acoustic propagation models. Many naval operations are carried out in challenging and dynamic environments. This makes acoustic propagation and sonar performance behavior particularly complex and variable, and complicates prediction. Using data from a field experiment, we have investigated the accuracy with which acoustic propagation loss (PL) can be predicted, using only limited modeling capabilities. Environmental input parameters came from various sources that may be available in a typical naval operation.

The outer continental shelf shallow-water experimental area featured internal tides, packets of nonlinear internal waves, and a meandering water mass front. For a moored source/receiver pair separated by 19.6 km, the acoustic propagation loss for 800 Hz pulses was computed using the peak amplitude. The variations in sound speed translated into considerable PL variability of order 15 dB. Acoustic loss modeling was carried out using a data-driven regional ocean model as well as measured sound speed profile data for comparison. The acoustic model used a two-dimensional parabolic approximation (vertical and radial outward wavenumbers only). The variance of modeled propagation loss was less than that measured. The effect of the internal tides and sub-tidal features was reasonably well modeled; these made use of measured sound speed data. The effects of nonlinear waves were not well modeled, consistent with their known three-dimensional effects but also with the lack of measurements to initialize and constrain them.


Circulations and Intrusions Northeast of Taiwan – Chasing Uncertainty in the Cold Dome.

Gawarkiewicz, G., S. Jan, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, J.L. McClean, L. Centurioni, K. Taylor, B. Cornuelle, T.F. Duda, J. Wang, Y.J. Yang, T. Sanford, R.-C. Lien, C. Lee, M.-A. Lee, W. Leslie, P.J. Haley Jr., P.P. Niiler, G. Gopalakrishnan, P. Velez-Belchi, D.-K. Lee, and Y.Y. Kim. 2011. Circulation and intrusions northeast of Taiwan: Chasing and predicting uncertainty in the cold dome. Oceanography, 24(4):110-121, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2011.99.

An important element of present oceanographic research is the assessment and quantification of uncertainty. These studies are challenging in the coastal ocean due to the wide variety of physical processes occurring on a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. In order to assess new methods for quantifying and predicting uncertainty, a joint Taiwan-US field program was undertaken in August/ September 2009 to compare model forecasts of uncertainties in ocean circulation and acoustic propagation, with high-resolution in situ observations. The geographical setting was the continental shelf and slope northeast of Taiwan, where a feature called the “cold dome” frequently forms. Even though it is hypothesized that Kuroshio subsurface intrusions are the water sources for the cold dome, the dome’s dynamics are highly uncertain, involving multiple scales and many interacting ocean features. During the experiment, a combination of near-surface and profiling drifters, broadscale and high-resolution hydrography, mooring arrays, remote sensing, and regional ocean model forecasts of fields and uncertainties were used to assess mean fields and uncertainties in the region. River runoff from Typhoon Morakot, which hit Taiwan August 7-8, 2009, strongly affected shelf stratification. In addition to the river runoff, a cold cyclonic eddy advected into the region north of the Kuroshio, resulting in a cold dome formation event. Uncertainty forecasts were successfully employed to guide the hydrographic sampling plans. Measurements and forecasts also shed light on the evolution of cold dome waters, including the frequency of eddy shedding to the north-northeast, and interactions with the Kuroshio and tides. For the first time in such a complex region, comparisons between uncertainty forecasts and the model skill at measurement locations validated uncertainty forecasts. To complement the real-time model simulations, historical simulations with another model show that large Kuroshio intrusions were associated with low sea surface height anomalies east of Taiwan, suggesting that there may be some degree of predictability for Kuroshio intrusions.


Special issue of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans in honor of Prof. A.R. Robinson

Lermusiaux, P.F.J, A.J. Miller and N. Pinardi, 2011. Special issue of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans in honor of Prof. A.R. Robinson, Editorial, Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 52, 1-3, doi:10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2011.08.001.

Professor Allan R. Robinson was one of the founding fathers of geophysical fluid dynamics. His research interests and seminal contributions have encompassed the dynamics of rotating and stratified fluids, boundary-layer flows, thermocline dynamics, the dynamics and modeling of mesoscale ocean currents, and the influence of physical processes on ocean biology. He is recognized as one of the pioneers and leading experts in modern ocean prediction, and contributed significantly to the techniques for the assimilation of data into ocean forecasting models. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Prof. Robinson’s research focused on fundamental geophysical fluid dynamics, including major contributions to thermocline theory, the wind-driven ocean circulation, coastally trapped waves, inertial currents and boundary layers. In the early 1970s, Prof. Robinson initiated investigations on realistic flow fields focusing in particular on mesoscale dynamics and forecasting, with contributions to western boundary currents, mesoscale eddies and baroclinic instabilities. He pioneered “ocean weather forecasting science” at the beginning of the 1980s, especially the development of conceptual models for the assimilation of both in situ and satellite data, specializing in the 1990s in the coupling between the deep sea and the coastal ocean. Focusing on mesoscale dynamics and coastal interactions, he also contributed to the development of new coupled physical-biological-acoustical and optical models, and he developed theories on the effects of oceanic motions on biological dynamics. Professor Robinson was also the Founding Editor of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans.

Oceanographic and Atmospheric Conditions on the Continental Shelf North of the Monterey Bay during August 2006

Ramp, S.R., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, I. Shulman, Y. Chao, R.E. Wolf, and F.L. Bahr, 2011. Oceanographic and Atmospheric Conditions on the Continental Shelf North of the Monterey Bay during August 2006. Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 52, 192-223, doi:10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2011.04.005.

A comprehensive data set from the ocean and atmosphere was obtained just north of the Monterey Bay as part of the Monterey Bay 2006 (MB06) field experiment. The wind stress, heat fluxes, and sea surface temperature were sampled by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Twin Otter research aircraft. In situ data were collected using ships, moorings, gliders and AUVs. Four data-assimilating numerical models were additionally run, including the Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) model for the atmosphere and the Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS), the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), and the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) for the ocean. The scientific focus of the Adaptive Sampling and Prediction Experiment (ASAP) was on the upwelling/relaxation cycle and the resulting three-dimensional coastal circulation near a coastal promontory, in this case Point Ano Nuevo, CA. The emphasis of this study is on the circulation over the continental shelf as estimated from the wind forcing, two ADCP moorings, and model outputs. The wind stress during August 2006 consisted of 3-10 day upwelling favorable events separated by brief 1-3 day relaxations. During the first two weeks there was some correlation between local winds and currents and the three models’ capability to reproduce the events. During the last two weeks, largely equatorward surface wind stress forced the sea surface and barotropic poleward flow occurred over the shelf, reducing model skill at predicting the circulation. The poleward flow was apparently remotely forced by mesoscale eddies and alongshore pressure gradients, which were not well simulated by the models. The small, high-resolution model domains were highly reliant on correct open boundary conditions to drive these larger-scale poleward flows. Multiply-nested models were no more effective than well-initialized local models in this respect.

The California Current System: A Multiscale Overview and the Development of a Feature-Oriented Regional Modeling System (FORMS)

Gangopadhyay, A., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, L. Rosenfeld, A.R. Robinson, L. Calado, H.S. Kim, W.G. Leslie and P.J. Haley, Jr., 2011. The California Current System: A Multiscale Overview and the Development of a Feature-Oriented Regional Modeling System (FORMS). Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 52, 131-169, doi:10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2011.04.003.

Over the past decade, the feature-oriented regional modeling methodology has been developed and applied in several ocean domains, including the western North Atlantic and tropical North Atlantic. This methodology is model-independent and can be utilized with or without satellite and/or in situ observations. Here we develop new feature-oriented models for the eastern North Pacific from 36 to 48? – essentially, most of the regional eastern boundary current. This is the first time feature-modeling has been applied to a complex eastern boundary current system. As a prerequisite to feature modeling, prevalent features that comprise the multiscale and complex circulation in the California Current system (CCS) are first overviewed. This description is based on contemporary understanding of the features and their dominant space and time scales of variability. A synergistic configuration of circulation features interacting with one another on multiple and sometimes overlapping space and time scales as a meander-eddy-upwelling system is presented. The second step is to define the feature-oriented regional modeling system (FORMS). The major multiscale circulation features include the mean flow and southeastward meandering jet(s) of the California Current (CC), the poleward flowing California Undercurrent (CUC), and six upwelling regions along the coastline. Next, the typical synoptic width, location, vertical extent, and core characteristics of these features and their dominant scales of variability are identified from past observational, theoretical and modeling studies. The parameterized features are then melded with the climatology, in situ and remotely sensed data, as available. The methodology is exemplified here for initialization of primitiveequation models. Dynamical simulations are run as nowcasts and short-term (4-6 weeks) forecasts using these feature models (FM) as initial fields and the Princeton Ocean Model (POM) for dynamics. The set of simulations over a 40-day period illustrate the applicability of FORMS to a transient eastern boundary current region such as the CCS. Comparisons are made with simulations initialized from climatology only. The FORMS approach increases skill in several factors, including the: (i) maintenance of the low-salinity pool in the core of the CC; (ii) representation of eddy activity inshore of the coastal transition zone; (iii) realistic eddy kinetic energy evolution; (iv) subsurface (intermediate depth) mesoscale feature evolution; and (v) deep poleward flow evolution.

Multiscale Physical and Biological Dynamics in the Philippines Archipelago: Predictions and Processes

Lermusiaux, P.F.J., P.J. Haley, Jr., W.G. Leslie, A. Agarwal, O. Logutov and L.J. Burton, 2011. Multiscale Physical and Biological Dynamics in the Philippines Archipelago: Predictions and Processes. Oceanography. PhilEx Issue, 24(1), 70-89, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2011.05.

The Philippine Archipelago is remarkable because of its complex geometry, with multiple islands and passages, and its multiscale dynamics, from the large-scale open-ocean and atmospheric forcing, to the strong tides and internal waves in narrow straits and at steep shelfbreaks. We employ our multiresolution modeling system to predict and study multiscale dynamics in the region, without the use of any synoptic in situ data, so as to evaluate modeling capabilities when only sparse remotely sensed sea surface height is available for assimilation. We focus on the February to March 2009 period, compare our simulation results to ocean observations, and utilize our simulations to quantify and discover oceanic features in the region. The findings include: the physical drivers for the biogeochemical features; the diverse circulation features in each sub-sea and their variations on multiple scales; the flow fields within the major straits and their variability; the transports to and from the Sulu Sea and the corresponding balances; and finally, the multiscale mechanisms involved in the formation of the deep Sulu Sea water.

Computational Studies of 3D Ocean sound fields in areas of complex seafloor topography and active ocean dynamics

Duda, T.F., Y.-T. Lin, W.G. Zhang, B.D. Cornuelle, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, 2011. Computational Studies of 3D Ocean sound fields in areas of complex seafloor topography and active ocean dynamics. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Theoretical and Computational Acoustics, NTU, Taiwan, 12pp.

Over the last four decades the use of numerical flow models in oceanography has vastly increased. Models are run operationally for regional locations, ocean basins, and the entire earth. In addition, specialized research models targeting specific processes and areas are routinely produced. These models are often coupled with biological and chemical models for research into biological-physical and biogeochemical-physical interactions. The role of some models is to create conditions close to reality, in a deterministic sense, whereas others have the role of imitating mean behavior or fluctuation behavior. The role of yet another family of models is to alter conditions from reality to study the ramifications, examples being interdisciplinary climate models [1-3]. All of these models provide full access to time- evolving three-dimensional fields (4-D fields) for process studies, or for predictive purposes. There is strong motivation for using these models for ocean acoustic studies. Suitably formulated models can include the important flow and water-mass features of the ocean, with the important features covering a wide dynamic range. Each feature has its own acoustic propagation or scattering signature, with some signatures having an interfering effect on underwater acoustic activities. The signature can be in the temporal domain, the spatial domain, or both. An important part of ocean acoustics research at this time is identifying which processes are dominant at specific times and places, and models are well suited to this. Significant acoustic effects of water-column and seafloor features occur in concert. However, they have traditionally been studied individually, sometimes in idealized or very simple form. Despite the isolation of the processes, many of these studies have been very successful. Examples are the analysis of the Pekeris waveguide [4], adiabatic mode propagation in a smoothly varying waveguide [5], and propagation through idealized internal waves [6-8]. The state of our knowledge now demands that the full complexity be analyzed, as can be done using the ocean models. Initial efforts that have coupled four-dimensional ocean fields with 2D acoustics modeling include data assimilation and uncertainty studies [9, 10], end-to-end computations [11], real-time at-sea predictions [12] and coupled adaptive sampling [13]. In the present work, a specific focus is on 3D acoustic effects coupled to 4D ocean predictions. We have thus motivated the use of oceanographic flow models as a straightforward approach for objective and comprehensive study of sound propagation in realistic environments, which we refer to as coupled ocean/acoustics modeling. The alternative of investigating the overall effects of simultaneously occurring feature types by constructing idealized process models with multiple features (straight line internal waves in two-layer fluid over a uniformly sloped bottom and one eddy, for example) is likely to lack objectivity or completeness. In fact, such feature models are mainly utilized to initialize ocean models or describe/assimilate specific features [14]. Coupled ocean/acoustics modeling can have high value, under the condition that the synthesized environments are sufficiently inclusive, representative, and accurate. This is a nontrivial condition; many challenges remain for flow models in terms of boundary conditions and data assimilation, resolution of near-boundary effects and mixing effects, and three-dimensional nonlinear gravity waves with hydrostatic pressure. Note that making acoustic propagation predictions, without analysis of the behavior or the mechanisms at work, is a byproduct of coupled ocean-acoustic modeling. Coupled ocean/acoustics modeling is becoming more common. Nevertheless, the approach is relatively recent and the best research path to take at this time deserves discussion. In this paper we discuss the potential of this method, and inform the discussion with some example computations from recent work in the Mid Atlantic Bight.

Coupled Ocean-Acoustic prediction of transmission loss in a continental shelfbreak region: predictive skill, uncertainty quantification and dynamical sensitivities

Lermusiaux, P.F.J., J. Xu, C.F. Chen, S. Jan, L.Y. Chiu and Y.-J. Yang, 2010. Coupled Ocean-Acoustic prediction of transmission loss in a continental shelfbreak region: predictive skill, uncertainty quantification and dynamical sensitivities. IEEE Transactions, Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 35(4) 895-916. doi:10.1109/JOE.2010.2068611.

In this paper, we quantify the dynamical causes and uncertainties of striking differences in acoustic transmission data collected on the shelf and shelfbreak in the northeastern Taiwan region within the context of the 2008 Quantifying, Predicting, and Exploiting Uncertainty (QPE 2008) pilot experiment. To do so, we employ our coupled oceanographic (4-D) and acoustic (Nx2-D) modeling systems with ocean data assimilation and a best-fit depth-dependent geoacoustic model. Predictions are compared to the measured acoustic data, showing skill. Using an ensemble approach, we study the sensitivity of our results to uncertainties in several factors, including geoacoustic parameters, bottom layer thickness, bathymetry, and ocean conditions. We find that the lack of signal received on the shelfbreak is due to a 20-dB increase in transmission loss (TL) caused by bottom trapping of sound energy during up-slope transmissions over the complex and deeper bathymetry. Sensitivity studies on sediment properties show larger but isotropic TL variations on the shelf and smaller but more anisotropic TL variations over the shelfbreak. Sediment sound-speed uncertainties affect the shape of the probability density functions of the TLs more than uncertainties in sediment densities and attenuations. Diverse thicknesses of sediments lead to only limited effects on the TL. The small bathymetric data uncertainty is modeled and also leads to small TL variations. We discover that the initial transport conditions in the Taiwan Strait can affect acoustic transmissions downstream more than 100 km away, especially above the shelfbreak. Simulations also reveal internal tides and we quantify their spatial and temporal effects on the ocean and acoustic fields. One type of predicted waves are semidiurnal shelfbreak internal tides propagating up-slope with wavelengths around 40-80 km, horizontal phase speeds of 0.5-1 m/s, and vertical peak-to-peak displacements of isotherms of 20-60 m. These waves lead to variations of broadband TL estimates over 5-6-km range that are more isotropic and on bearing average larger (up to 5-8-dB amplitudes) on the shelf than on the complex shelfbreak where the TL varies rapidly with bearing angles.

Merging Multiple Partial-Depth Data Time Series Using Objective Empirical Orthogonal Function Fitting

Lin, Y.-T., A.E. Newhall, T.F. Duda, P.F. J. Lermusiaux and P.J. Haley, Jr., 2010. Merging Multiple Partial-Depth Data Time Series Using Objective Empirical Orthogonal Function Fitting. IEEE Transactions, Journal of Oceanic Engineering. 35(4) 710-721. doi:10.1109/JOE.2010.2052875.

In this paper, a method for merging partial overlap- ping time series of ocean profiles into a single time series of profiles using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) decomposition with the objective analysis is presented. The method is used to handle internal waves passing two or more mooring locations from multiple directions, a situation where patterns of variability cannot be accounted for with a simple time lag. Data from one mooring are decomposed into linear combination of EOFs. Objective analysis using data from another mooring and these patterns is then used to build the necessary profile for merging the data, which is a linear combination of the EOFs. This method is applied to temperature data collected at a two vertical moorings in the 2006 New Jersey Shelf Shallow Water Experiment (SW06). Resulting profiles specify conditions for 35 days from sea surface to seafloor at a primary site and allow for reliable acoustic propagation modeling, mode decomposition, and beamforming.

Preparing to Predict: The Second Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN-II) Experiment in the Monterey Bay

Ramp, S.R., R. E. Davis, N. E. Leonard, I. Shulman, Y. Chao, A. R. Robinson, J. Marsden, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, D. Fratantoni, J. D. Paduan, F. Chavez, F. L. Bahr, S. Liang, W. Leslie, and Z. Li, 2009. Preparing to Predict: The Second Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN-II) Experiment in the Monterey Bay. Special issue on AOSN-II, Deep Sea Research, Part II, 56, 68-86, doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.08.013.

The Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network Phase Two (AOSN-II) experiment was conducted in and offshore from the Monterey Bay on the central California coast during July 23-September 6, 2003. The objective of the experiment was to learn how to apply new tools, technologies, and analysis techniques to adaptively sample the coastal ocean in a manner demonstrably superior to traditional methodologies, and to use the information gathered to improve predictive skill for quantities of interest to end-users. The scientific goal was to study the upwelling/relaxation cycle near an open coastal bay in an eastern boundary current region, particularly as it developed and spread from a coastal headland. The suite of observational tools used included a low-flying aircraft, a fleet of underwater gliders, including several under adaptive autonomous control, and propeller-driven AUVs in addition to moorings, ships, and other more traditional hardware. The data were delivered in real time and assimilated into the Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS), the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory implementation of the Regional Ocean Modeling System (JPL/ROMS).

Two upwelling events and one relaxation event were sampled during the experiment. The upwelling in both cases began when a pool of cold water less than 13oC appeared near Cape Ano Nuevo and subsequently spread offshore and southward across the bay as the equatorward wind stress continued. The primary difference between the events was that the first event spread offshore and southward, while the second event spread only southward and not offshore. The difference is attributed to the position and strength of meanders and eddies of the California Current System offshore, which blocked or steered the cold upwelled water. The space and time scales of the mesoscale variability were much shorter than have been previously observed in deep-water eddies offshore. Additional process studies are needed to elucidate the dynamics of the flow.

Lagoon of Venice ecosystem: Seasonal dynamics and environmental guidance with uncertainty analyses and error subspace data assimilation

Cossarini, G., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, and C. Solidoro, 2009. Lagoon of Venice ecosystem: Seasonal dynamics and environmental guidance with uncertainty analyses and error subspace data assimilation, J. Geophys. Res., 114, C06026, doi:10.1029/2008JC005080.

An ensemble data assimilation scheme, Error Subspace Statistical Estimation (ESSE), is utilized to investigate the seasonal ecosystem dynamics of the Lagoon of Venice and provide guidance on the monitoring and management of the Lagoon, combining a rich data set with a physical-biogeochemical numerical estuary-coastal model. Novel stochastic ecosystem modeling components are developed to represent prior uncertainties in the Lagoon dynamics model, measurement model, and boundary forcing by rivers, open-sea inlets, and industrial discharges. The formulation and parameters of these additive and multiplicative stochastic error models are optimized based on data-model forecast misfits. The sensitivity to initial and boundary conditions is quantified and analyzed. Half-decay characteristic times are estimated for key ecosystem variables, and their spatial and temporal variability are studied. General results of our uncertainty analyses are that boundary forcing and internal mixing have a significant control on the Lagoon dynamics and that data assimilation is needed to reduce prior uncertainties. The error models are used in the ESSE scheme for ensemble uncertainty predictions and data assimilation, and an optimal ensemble dimension is estimated. Overall, higher prior uncertainties are predicted in the central and northern regions of the Lagoon. On the basis of the dominant singular vectors of the ESSE ensemble, the two major northern rivers are the biggest sources of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) uncertainty in the Lagoon. Other boundary sources such as the southern rivers and industrial discharges can dominate uncertainty modes on certain months. For dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) and phytoplankton, dominant modes are also linked to external boundaries, but internal dynamics effects are more significant than those for DIN. Our posterior estimates of the seasonal biogeochemical fields and of their uncertainties in 2001 cover the whole Lagoon. They provide the means to describe the ecosystem and guide local environmental policies. Specifically, our findings and results based on these fields include the temporal and spatial variability of nutrient and plankton gradients in the Lagoon; dynamical connections among ecosystem fields and their variability; strengths, gradients and mechanisms of the plankton blooms in late spring, summer, and fall; reductions of uncertainties by data assimilation and thus a quantification of data impacts and data needs; and, finally, an assessment of the water quality in the Lagoon in light of the local environmental legislation.

Forecasting and Reanalysis in the Monterey Bay/California Current Region for the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network-II Experiment.

Haley, P.J. Jr., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, A.R. Robinson, W.G. Leslie, O. Logutov, G. Cossarini, X.S. Liang, P. Moreno, S.R. Ramp, J.D. Doyle, J. Bellingham, F. Chavez, S. Johnston, 2009. Forecasting and Reanalysis in the Monterey Bay/California Current Region for the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network-II Experiment. Special issue on AOSN-II, Deep Sea Research, Part II. ISSN 0967-0645, doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.08.010.

During the August-September 2003 Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network-II experiment, the Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS) and Error Subspace Statistical Estimation (ESSE) system were utilized in real-time to forecast physical fields and uncertainties, assimilate various ocean measurements (CTD, AUVs, gliders and SST data), provide suggestions for adaptive sampling, and guide dynamical investigations. The qualitative evaluations of the forecasts showed that many of the surface ocean features were predicted, but that their detailed positions and shapes were less accurate. The root-mean-square errors of the real-time forecasts showed that the forecasts had skill out to two days. Mean one-day forecast temperature RMS error was 0.26oC less than persistence RMS error. Mean two-day forecast temperature RMS error was 0.13oC less than persistence RMS error. Mean one- or two-day salinity RMS error was 0.036 PSU less than persistence RMS error. The real-time skill in the surface was found to be greater than the skill at depth. Pattern correlation coefficient comparisons showed, on average, greater skill than the RMS errors. For simulations lasting 10 or more days, uncertainties in the boundaries could lead to errors in the Monterey Bay region.

Following the real-time experiment, a reanalysis was performed in which improvements were made in the selection of model parameters and in the open-boundary conditions. The result of the reanalysis was improved long-term stability of the simulations and improved quantitative skill, especially the skill in the main thermocline (RMS simulation error 1oC less than persistence RMS error out to five days). This allowed for an improved description of the ocean features. During the experiment there were two-week to 10-day long upwelling events. Two types of upwelling events were observed: one with plumes extending westward at point Ano Nuevo (AN) and Point Sur (PS); the other with a thinner band of upwelled water parallel to the coast and across Monterey Bay. During strong upwelling events the flows in the upper 10-20 m had scales similar to atmospheric scales. During relaxation, kinetic energy becomes available and leads to the development of mesoscale features. At 100-300 m depths, broad northward flows were observed, sometimes with a coastal branch following topographic features. An anticyclone was often observed in the subsurface fields in the mouth of Monterey Bay.

At-sea Real-time Coupled Four-dimensional Oceanographic and Acoustic Forecasts during Battlespace Preparation 2007

Lam, F.P, P.J. Haley, Jr., J. Janmaat, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, W.G. Leslie, and M.W. Schouten, 2009. At-sea Real-time Coupled Four-dimensional Oceanographic and Acoustic Forecasts during Battlespace Preparation 2007. Special issue of the Journal of Marine Systems on "Coastal processes: challenges for monitoring and prediction", Drs. J.W. Book, Prof. M. Orlic and Michel Rixen (Guest Eds.), 78, S306-S320, doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2009.01.029.

Systems capable of forecasting ocean properties and acoustic performance in the littoral ocean are becoming a useful capability for scientific and operational exercises. The coupling of a data-assimilative nested ocean modeling system with an acoustic propagation modeling system was carried out at sea for the first time, within the scope of Battlespace Preparation 2007 (BP07) that was part of Marine Rapid Environmental Assessment (MREA07) exercises. The littoral region for our studies was southeast of the island of Elba ( Italy) in the Tyrrhenian basin east of Corsica and Sardinia. During BP07, several vessels collected in situ ocean data, based in part on recommendations from oceanographic forecasts. The data were assimilated into a four- dimensional high-resolution ocean modeling system. Sound-speed forecasts were then used as inputs for bearing- and range-dependent acoustic propagation forecasts. Data analyses are carried out and the set-up of the coupled oceanographic-acoustic system as well as the results of its real-time use are described. A significant finding is that oceanographic variability can considerably influence acoustic propagation properties, including the probability of detection, even in this apparently quiet region around Elba. This strengthens the importance of coupling at-sea acoustic modeling to real-time ocean forecasting. Other findings include the challenges involved in downscaling basin-scale modeling systems to high-resolution littoral models, especially in the Mediterranean Sea. Due to natural changes, global human activities and present model resolutions, the assimilation of synoptic regional ocean data is recommended in the region.

Underwater acoustic sparse aperture system performance: Using transmitter channel state information for multipath & interference rejection

Puryear, A., L.J. Burton, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, and V.W.S. Chan, 2009. Underwater acoustic sparse aperture system performance: Using transmitter channel state information for multipath & interference rejection. OCEANS 2009-EUROPE, pp. 1-9, 11-14 May 2009, doi:10.1109/OCEANSE.2009.5278156.

Today’s situational awareness requirements in the undersea environment present severe challenges for acoustic communication systems. Acoustic propagation through the ocean environment severely limits the capacity of existing underwater communication systems. Specifically, the presence of internal waves coupled with the ocean sound channel creates a stochastic field that introduces deep fades and significant intersymbol interference (ISI) thereby limiting reliable communication to low data rates. In this paper we present a communication architecture that optimally predistorts the acoustic wave via spatial modulation and detects the acoustic wave with optimal spatial recombination to maximize reliable information throughput. This effectively allows the system to allocate its power to the most efficient propagation modes while mitigating ISI. Channel state information is available to the transmitter through low rate feedback. New results include the asymptotic distribution of singular values for a large number of apertures. Further, we present spatial modulation at the transmitter and spatial recombination at the receiver that asymptotically minimize bit error rate (BER). We show that, in many applications, the number of apertures can be made large enough so that asymptotic results approximate finite results well. Additionally, we show that the interference noise power is reduced proportional to the inverse of the number of receive apertures. Finally, we calculate the asymptotic BER for the sparse aperture acoustic system.

A multigrid methodology for assimilation of measurements into regional tidal models

Logutov, O.G., 2008. A multigrid methodology for assimilation of measurements into regional tidal models. Ocean Dynamics, 58, 441-460, doi:10.1007/s10236-008-0163-4.

This paper presents a rigorous, yet practical, method of multigrid data assimilation into regional structured-grid tidal models. The new inverse tidal nesting scheme, with nesting across multiple grids, is designed to provide a fit of the tidal dynamics to data in areas with highly complex bathymetry and coastline geometry. In these areas, computational constraints make it impractical to fully resolve local topographic and coastal features around all of the observation sites in a stand-alone computation. The proposed strategy consists of increasing the model resolution in multiple limited area domains around the observation locations where a representativeness error is detected in order to improve the representation of the measurements with respect to the dynamics. Multiple high-resolution nested domains are set up and data assimilation is carried out using these embedded nested computations. Every nested domain is coupled to the outer domain through the open boundary conditions (OBCs). Data inversion is carried out in a control space of the outer domain model. A level of generality is retained throughout the presentation with respect to the choice of the control space; however, a specific example of using the outer domain OBCs as the control space is provided, with other sensible choices discussed. In the forward scheme, the computations in the nested domains do not affect the solution in the outer domain. The subsequent inverse computations utilize the observation-minus-model residuals of the forward computations across these multiple nested domains in order to obtain the optimal values of parameters in the control space of the outer domain model. The inversion is carried out by propagating the uncertainty from the control space to model tidal fields at observation locations in the outer and in the nested domains using efficient low-rank error covariance representations. Subsequently, an analysis increment in the control space of the outer domain model is computed and the multigrid system is steered optimally towards observations while preserving a perfect dynamical balance. The method is illustrated using a real-world application in the context of the Philippines Strait Dynamics experiment.

Spatial and Temporal Variations in Acoustic propagation during the PLUSNet-07 Exercise in Dabob Bay

Xu, J., P.F.J. Lermusiaux, P.J. Haley Jr., W.G. Leslie and O.G. Logutov, 2008. Spatial and Temporal Variations in Acoustic propagation during the PLUSNet-07 Exercise in Dabob Bay. Acoustical Society of America, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA). 155th Meeting, Vol. 4. 11pp. doi: 10.1121/1.2988093.

We present the spatial and temporal variability of the acoustic field in Dabob Bay during the PLUSNet07 Exercise. The study uses a 4-D data-assimilative numerical ocean model to provide input to an acoustic propagation model. The ocean physics models (primitive-equations and tidal models), with CTD data assimilation, provided ocean predictions in the region. The output ocean forecasts had a 300m and 1-5m resolution in the horizontal and vertical directions, at 3-hour time intervals within a 15-day period. This environmental data, as the input to acoustic modeling, allowed for the prediction and study of the temporal variations of the acoustic field, as well as the varying spatial structures of the field. Using a one-way coupled-normal-mode code, along- and across-sections in the Dabob Bay acoustic field structures at 100, 400, and 900 Hz were forecasted and described twice-daily, for various source depths. Interesting propagation effects, such as acoustic fluctuations with respect to the source depth and frequency as a result of the regional ocean variability, wind forcing, and tidal effects are discussed. The novelty of this work lies in the possibility of accurate acoustic TL prediction in the littoral region by physically coupling the real-time ocean prediction system to real-time acoustic modeling.

Prediction Systems with Data Assimilation for Coupled Ocean Science and Ocean Acoustics

Robinson, A.R. and P.F.J. Lermusiaux, 2004. Prediction Systems with Data Assimilation for Coupled Ocean Science and Ocean Acoustics, Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Theoretical and Computational Acoustics (A. Tolstoy, et al., editors), World Scientific Publishing, 325-342. Refereed invited Keynote Manuscript.

Ocean science and ocean acoustics today are engaged in coupled interdisciplinary research on both fundamental dynamics and applications. In this context interdisciplinary data assimilation, which melds observations and fundamental dynamical models for field and parameter estimation is emerging as a novel and powerful methodology, but computational demands present challenging constraints which need to be overcome. These ideas are developed within the concept of an interdisciplinary system for assessing sonar system performance. An end-to-end system, which couples meteorology-physical oceanography-geoacoustics-ocean acoustics-bottom-noise-target-sonar data and models, is used to estimate uncertainties and their transfers and feedbacks. The approach to interdisciplinary data assimilation for this system importantly involves a full, interdisciplinary state vector and error covariance matrix. An idealized end-to-end system example is presented based upon the Shelfbreak PRIMER experiment in the Middle Atlantic Bight. Uncertainties in the physics are transferred to the acoustics and to a passive sonar using fully coupled physical and acoustical data assimilation.

Forecasting synoptic transients in the Eastern Ligurian Sea

Robinson, A.R., J. Sellschopp, W.G. Leslie, A. Alvarez, G. Baldasserini, P.J. Haley, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, C.J. Lozano, E. Nacini, R. Onken, R. Stoner, P. Zanasca, 2003. Forecasting synoptic transients in the Eastern Ligurian Sea. In "Rapid Environmental Assessment", Bovio, E., R. Tyce and H. Schmidt (Editors), SACLANTCEN Conference Proceedings Series CP-46, Saclantcen, La Spezia, Italy.

Oceanographic conditions in the Gulf of Procchio, along the northern Elba coast, are influenced by the circulation in the Corsica channel and the southeastern Ligurian Sea. In order to support ocean prediction by nested models, an initial 4-day CTD survey provided initial ocean conditions. The purposes of the forecasts were threefold: i) in support of AUV exercises; ii) as an experiment in the development of rapid environmental assessment (REA) methodology; and, iii) as a rigorous real time test of a distributed ocean ocean prediction system technology. The Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS) was set up around Elba in a very high resolution domain (225 m horizontally) which was two-way nested in a high resolution domain (675 m) in the channel between Italy and Corsica. The HOPS channel domain was physically interfaced with a one-way nest to the CU-POM model run in a larger Ligurian Sea domain. Eleven nowcasts and 2-3 day forecasts were issued during the period 26 September to 10 October, 2000 for the channel domain and for a Procchio Bay operational sub-domain of the Elba domain.

After initialization with the NRV Alliance, CTD survey data adaptive sampling patterns for nightly excursions of the Alliance were designed on the basis of forecasts to obtain data for assimilation which would most efficiently maintain the structures and variability of the flow in future dynamical forecasts. Images of satellite sea surface temperature were regularly processed and used for track planning and also for model verification. Rapid environmental assessment (REA) techniques were used for data processing and transmission from ship to shore and vice versa for model results. ADCP data validated well the flow in the channel. Additionally and importantly, the direction and strength of the flow in Procchio Bay were correctly forecast by dynamics supported only by external observations. CU-POM model hydrographic and geostrophic flow data was assimilated successfully on boundary strips of the HOPS domain. Flow fields with/without CU-POM nesting were qualitatively similar and a quantitative analysis of differences is under study. A significant result was the demonstration of a powerful and efficient distributed ocean observing and prediction system with in situ data collected in the Ligurian Sea, satellite data collected at SACLANTCEN, forecast modeling at Harvard University and the University of Colorado, and adaptive sampling tracks designed at Harvard. The distributed system functioned smoothly and effectively and coped with the adverse six-hour time difference between Massachusetts and Italy.


Coupled physical and biogeochemical data driven simulations of Massachusetts Bay in late summer: real-time and post-cruise data assimilation

Besiktepe, S.T., P.F.J. Lermusiaux and A.R. Robinson, 2003. Coupled physical and biogeochemical data driven simulations of Massachusetts Bay in late summer: real-time and post-cruise data assimilation. Special issue on "The use of data assimilation in coupled hydrodynamic, ecological and bio-geo-chemical models of the oceans", M. Gregoire, P. Brasseur and P.F.J. Lermusiaux (Eds.), Journal of Marine Systems, 40, 171-212.

Data-driven forecasts and simulations for Massachusetts Bay based on in situ observations collected during August – September 1998 and on coupled four-dimensional (4-D) physical and biogeochemical models are carried out, evaluated, and studied. The real-time forecasting and adaptive sampling took place from August 17 to October 5, 1998. Simultaneous synoptic physical and biogeochemical data sets were obtained over a range of scales. For the real-time forecasts, the physical model was initialized using hydrographic data from August 1998 and the new biogeochemical model using historical data. The models were forced with real-time meteorological fields and the physical data were assimilated. The resulting interdisciplinary forecasts were robust and the Bay-scale biogeochemical variability was qualitatively well represented. For the postcruise simulations, the August – September 1998 biogeochemical data are utilized. Extensive comparisons of the coupled model fields with data allowed significant improvements of the biogeochemical model. All physical and biogeochemical data are assimilated using an optimal interpolation scheme. Within this scheme, an approximate biogeochemical balance and dynamical adjustments are utilized to derive the non-observed ecosystem variables from the observed ones. Several processes occurring in the lower trophic levels of Massachusetts Bay during the summer – autumn period over different spatial and temporal scales are described. The coupled dynamics is found to be more vigorous and diverse than previously thought to be the case in this period. For the biogeochemical dynamics, multiscale patchiness occurs. The locations of the patches are mainly defined by physical processes, but their strengths are mainly controlled by biogeochemical processes. The fluxes of nutrients into the euphotic zone are episodic and induced in part by atmospheric forcing. The quasi-weekly passage of storms gradually deepened the mixed layer and often altered the Bay-scale circulation and induced internal submesoscale variability. The physical variability increased the transfer of biogeochemical materials between the surface and deeper layers and modulated the biological processes.

Data driven simulations of synoptic circulation and transports in the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region

Onken, R., A.R. Robinson, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, P.J. Haley Jr. and L.A. Anderson, 2003. Data driven simulations of synoptic circulation and transports in the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, (C9), 8123-8136.

Data from a hydrographic survey of the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region are assimilated into a primitive equations ocean model. The model simulation is then averaged in time over the short duration of the data survey. The corresponding results, consistent with data and dynamics, are providing new insight into the circulation of Modified Atlantic Water (MAW) and Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) in this region of the western Mediterranean. For MAW these insights include a southward jet off the east coast of Sardinia, anticyclonic recirculation cells on the Algerian and Tunisian shelves, and a secondary flow splitting in the Strait of Sicily. For the LIW regime a detailed view of the circulation in the Strait of Sicily is given, indicating that LIW proceeds from the strait to the Tyrrhenian Sea. No evidence is found for a direct current path to the Sardinia Channel. Complex circulation patterns are validated by two-way nesting of critical regions. Volume transports are computed for the Strait of Sicily, the Sardinia Channel, and the passage between Sardinia and Sicily.

Modeling Uncertainties in the Prediction of the Acoustic Wavefield in a Shelfbreak Environment

Lermusiaux, P.F.J., C.-S. Chiu and A.R. Robinson, 2002. Modeling Uncertainties in the Prediction of the Acoustic Wavefield in a Shelfbreak Environment. Refereed invited Manuscript, Proceedings of the 5th International conference on theoretical and computational acoustics, May 21-25, 2001. (Eds: E.-C. Shang, Q. Li and T.F. Gao), World Scientific Publishing Co., 191-200.

The uncertainties in the predicted acoustic wavefield associated with the transmission of low- frequency sound from the continental slope, through the shelfbreak front, onto the continental shelf are examined. The locale and sensor geometry being investigated is that of the New England continental shelfbreak with a moored low-frequency sound source on the slope. Our method of investigation employs computational fluid mechanics coupled with computational acoustics. The coupled methodology for uncertainty estimation is that of Error Subspace Statistical Estimation. Specifically, based on observed oceanographic data during the 1996 Shelfbreak Primer Experiment, the Harvard University primitive-equation ocean model is initialized with many realizations of physical fields and then integrated to produce many realizations of a five-day regional forecast of the sound speed field. In doing so, the initial physical realizations are obtained by perturbing the physical initial conditions in statistical accord with a realistic error subspace. The different forecast realizations of the sound speed field are then fed into a Naval Postgraduate School coupled-mode sound propagation model to produce realizations of the predicted acoustic wavefield in a vertical plane across the shelfbreak frontal zone. The combined ocean and acoustic results from this Monte Carlo simulation study provide insights into the relations between the uncertainties in the ocean and acoustic estimates. The modeled uncertainties in the transmission loss estimate and their relations to the error statistics in the ocean estimate are discussed.

Features of dominant mesoscale variability, circulation patterns and dynamics in the Strait of Sicily

Lermusiaux, P.F.J. and A.R. Robinson, 2001. Features of dominant mesoscale variability, circulation patterns and dynamics in the Strait of Sicily. Deep Sea Research. 48, (9), 1953-1997.

Combining an intensive hydrographic data survey with a numerical primitive equation model by data assimilation, the main features of dominant mesoscale to subbasin-scale variability in the Strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea) during the summer of 1996 are estimated, revealed and described, and several hydrographic and dynamical properties of the #ow and variabilities discussed. The feature identi”cation is based on two independent real-time analyses of the variability. One analysis `subjectivelya evaluates and studies physical “eld forecasts and their variations. The other more `objectivelya estimates and forecasts the principal components of the variability. The two independent analyses are found to be in agreement and complementary. The dominant dynamical variations are revealed to be associated with “ve features: the Adventure Bank Vortex, Maltese Channel Crest, Ionian Shelfbreak Vortex, Messina Rise Vortex, and temperature and salinity fronts of the Ionian slope. These features and their variations are found to have links with the meanders of the Atlantic Ionian Stream. For each feature, the characteristic physical scales, and their deviations, are quanti”ed. The predominant circulation patterns, pathways and transformations of the modi”ed Atlantic water, Ionian water and modi”ed Levantine intermediate water, are then identi”ed and discussed. For each of these water masses, the ranges of temperature, salinity, depth, velocity and residence times, and the regional variations of these ranges, are computed. Based on the estimated “elds and variability principal components, several properties of the dynamics in the Strait are discussed. These include: general characteristics of the mesoscale anomalies; bifurcations of the Atlantic Ionian Stream; respective roles of topography, atmospheric forcings and internal dynamics; factors controlling (strengthening or weakening) the vortices identi”ed; interactions of the Messina Rise and Ionian Shelfbreak vortices; and, mesoscale dynamics and relatively complex features along the Ionian slope. For evaluation and validation of the results obtained, in situ data, satellite sea surface temperature images and trajectories of surface drifters are employed, as well as comparisons with previous studies.

The development and demonstration of an advanced fisheries management information system

Robinson, A.R., B.J. Rothschild, W.G. Leslie, J.J. Bisagni, M.F. Borges, W.S. Brown, D. Cai, P. Fortier, A. Gangopadhyay, P.J. Haley, Jr., H.S. Kim, L. Lanerolle, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, C.J. Lozano, M.G. Miller, G. Strout and M.A. Sundermeyer, 2001. The development and demonstration of an advanced fisheries management information system. Proc. of the 17th Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems for Meteorology, Oceanography and Hydrology, Albuquerque, New Mexico. American Meteorological Society, 186-190.

Fishery management regulates size and species-specific fishing mortality to optimize biological production from the fish populations and economic production from the fishery. Fishery management is similar to management in industries and in natural resources where the goals of management are intended to optimize outputs relative to inputs. However, the management of fish populations is among the most difficult. The difficulties arise because (a) the dynamics of the natural production system are extremely complicated; involving an infinitude of variables and interacting natural systems and (b) the size-and species-specific fishing mortality (i.e. system control) is difficult to measure, calibrate, and deploy. Despite the difficulties, it is believed that significant advances can be made by employing a fishery management system that involves knowing the short-term (daily to weekly) variability in the structures of environmental and fish fields. We need new information systems that bring together existing critical technologies and thereby place fishery management in a total-systems feedback-control context. Such a system would monitor the state of the structure of all stocks simultaneously in near real-time, be adaptive to the evolving fishery and consider the effects of the environment and economics. To do this the system would need to (a) employ new in situ and remote sensors in innovative ways, (b) develop new data streams to support the development of new information, (c) employ modern modeling, information and knowledge-base technology to process the diverse information and (d) generate management advice and fishing strategies that would optimize the production of fish.

The Advanced Fisheries Management Information System (AFMIS), built through a collaboration of Harvard University and the Center for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, is intended to apply state-of-the-art multidisciplinary and computational capabilities to operational fisheries management. The system development concept is aimed toward: 1) utilizing information on the “state” of ocean physics, biology, and chemistry; the assessment of spatially-resolved fish-stock population dynamics and the temporal-spatial deployment of fishing effort to be used in fishing and in the operational management of fish stocks; and, 2) forecasting and understanding physical and biological conditions leading to recruitment variability. Systems components are being developed in the context of using the Harvard Ocean Prediction System to support or otherwise interact with the: 1) synthesis and analysis of very large data sets; 2) building of a multidisciplinary multiscale model (coupled ocean physics/N-P-Z/fish dynamics/management models) appropriate for the northwest Atlantic shelf, particularly Georges Bank and Massachusetts Bay; 3) the application and development of data assimilation techniques; and, 4) with an emphasis on the incorporation of remotely sensed data into the data stream.

AFMIS is designed to model a large region of the northwest Atlantic (NWA) as the deep ocean influences the slope and shelves. Several smaller domains, including the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Georges Bank (GB) are nested within this larger domain (Figure 1). This provides a capability to zoom into these domains with higher resolution while maintaining the essential physics which are coupled to the larger domain. AFMIS will be maintained by the assimilation of a variety of real time data. Specifically this includes sea surface temperature (SST), color (SSC), and height (SSH) obtained from several space-based remote sensors (AVHRR, SeaWiFS and Topex/Poseidon). The assimilation of the variety of real-time remotely sensed data supported by in situ data will allow nowcasting and forecasting over significant periods of time.

A real-time demonstration of concept (RTDOC) nowcasting and forecasting exercise to demonstrate important aspects of the AFMIS concept by producing real time coupled forecasts of physical fields, biological and chemical fields, and fish abundance fields took place in March-May 2000. The RTDOC was designed to verify the physics, to validate the biology and chemistry but only to demonstrate the concept of forecasting the fish fields, since the fish dynamical models are at a very early stage of development. In addition, it demonstrated the integrated system concept and the implication for future coupling of a management model. This note reports on the RTDOC.


Real-time Forecasting of the Multidisciplinary Coastal Ocean with the Littoral Ocean Observing and Predicting System (LOOPS)

Robinson, A.R. and the LOOPS Group, 1999. Real-time Forecasting of the Multidisciplinary Coastal Ocean with the Littoral Ocean Observing and Predicting System (LOOPS). Preprint Volume of the Third Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes, 3-5 November 1999, New Orleans, LA, American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA.

The Littoral Ocean Observing and Predicting System (LOOPS) concept is that of a generic, versatile and portable system, applicable to multidisciplinary, multiscale generic coastal processes. The LOOPS advanced systems concept consists of: a modular, scalable structure for linking, with feedbacks, models, observational networks and data assimilation and adaptive sampling algorithms; and an efficient and robust, integrated and distributed, system software architecture and infrastructure. LOOPS applications include scientific research, coastal zone management and rapid environmental assessment for naval and civilian emergency operations. The LOOPS design is the scientific and technical conceptual basis of an interdisciplinary national littoral laboratory system. The LOOPS partners include: J.G. Bellingham (MBARI), C. Chryssostomidis (MIT), T.D. Dickey (UCSB), E. Levine (NUWC), N. Patrikalakis (MIT), D.L. Porter (JHU/APL), B.J. Rothschild (Umass-Dartmouth), H. Schmidt (MIT), K. Sherman (NMFS), D.V. Holliday (Marconi Aerospace) and D.K. Atwood (Raytheon). LOOPS objectives and accomplishments are summarized in the final section of this note.

Estimation and study of mesoscale variability in the Strait of Sicily

Lermusiaux, P.F.J., 1999b. Estimation and study of mesoscale variability in the Strait of Sicily. Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 29, 255-303.

Considering mesoscale variability in the Strait of Sicily during September 1996, the four-dimensional physical fields and their dominant variability and error covariances are estimated and studied. The methodology applied in real-time combines an intensive data survey and primitive equation dynamics based on the error subspace statistical estimation approach. A sequence of filtering and prediction problems are solved for a period of 10 days, with adaptive learning of the dominant errors. Intercomparisons with optimal interpolation fields, clear sea surface temperature images and available in situ data are utilized for qualitative and quantitative evaluations. The present estimation system is shown to be a comprehensive nonlinear and adaptive assimilation scheme, capable of providing real-time forecasts of ocean fields and associated dominant variability and error covariances. The initialization and evolution of the error subspace is explained. The dominant error eigenvectors, variance and covariance fields are illustrated and their multivariate, multiscale properties described. Five coupled features associated with the dominant variability in the Strait during August-September 1996 emerge from the dominant decomposition of the initial PE variability covariance matrix: the Adventure Bank Vortex, Maltese Channel Crest, Ionian Shelf Break Vortex, Strait of Messina Vortex, and subbasin-scale temperature and salinity fronts of the Ionian slope. From the evolution of the estimated fields and dominant predictability error covariance decompositions, several of the primitive equation processes associated with the variations of these features are revealed, decomposed and studied. In general, the estimation of the evolving dominant decompositions of the multivariate predictability error and variability covariances appears promising for ocean sciences and technology. The practical feedbacks of the present approach which include the determination of data optimals and the refinements of dynamical and measurement models are considered.

The Atlantic Ionian Stream

Robinson, A.R., J. Sellschopp, A. Warn-Varnas, W.G. Leslie, C.J. Lozano, P.J. Haley Jr., L.A. Anderson and P.F.J. Lermusiaux, 1999. The Atlantic Ionian Stream. Journal of Marine Systems, 20, 129-156.

This paper describes some preliminary results of the cooperative effort between SACLANT Undersea Research Centre and Harvard University in the development of a regional descriptive and predictive capability for the Strait of Sicily. The aims of the work have been to: 1. determine and describe the underlying dynamics of the region; and, 2. rapidly assess synoptic oceanographic conditions through measurements and modeling. Based on the 1994-1996 surveys, a picture of some semi-permanent features which occur in the Strait of Sicily is beginning to emerge. Dynamical circulation studies, with assimilated data from the surveys, indicate the presence of an Adventure Bank Vortex – ABV., Maltese Channel Crest – MCC., and Ionian Shelf Break Vortex – IBV. A schematic water mass model has been developed for the region. Results from the Rapid Response 96 real-time numerical modeling experiments are presented and evaluated. A newly developed data assimilation methodology, Error Subspace Statistical Estimation – ESSE. is introduced. The ideal Error Subspace spans and tracks the scales and processes where the dominant, most energetic, errors occur, making this methodology especially useful in real-time adaptive sampling. q1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

A Topographic-Rossby mode resonance over the Iceland-Faeroe Ridge.

Miller, A.J., P.F.J. Lermusiaux and P.-M. Poulain, 1996. A Topographic-Rossby mode resonance over the Iceland-Faeroe Ridge. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26 (12), 2735-2747. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0485(1996)026<2735:ATMROT>2.0.CO;2.