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AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009
Date:8/6/2009

h, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts, USA.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2009GL039060, 2009; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL039060


11. A 3-D model of ocean dynamics

Proposed space missions could soon be able to measure sea surface height (SSH) with resolution as high as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), a significant improvement over conventional radar altimetry. According to a study by Klein et al., such SSH measurements will make it possible for scientists to study not only the surface of the ocean but also the circulation as deep as 500 meters (1,640 feet) below the surface. The authors develop a simulation to show that it is possible to use high-resolution SSH measurements, combined with information on the large-scale vertical stratification, to reconstruct 3-D motions, in particular the vertical velocity, in the ocean down to 500 m. Their model simulates a realistic situation involving a turbulent eddy field and wind-driven motions in the upper layers of the ocean. The authors believe that the results show that improved SSH measurements made by planned missions will enable significant advances in the study of ocean dynamics.

Title: Diagnosis of vertical velocities in the upper ocean from high resolution sea surface height

Authors: P. Klein, G. Roullet, E. Danioux, and S. Le Gentil: Laboratoire de Physique des Ocans, IFREMER, UBO, IRD, CNRS, Plouzan, France;

J. Isern-Fontanet: Laboratoire d'Ocanographie spatiale, IFREMER, Plouzan, France and Institut Catal de Cincies del Clima, Barcelona, Spain;

G. Lapeyre: Laboratoire de Mtorologie Dynamique, IPSL, ENS, CNRS, Paris, France;

B. Chapron: Laboratoire d'Ocanographie spatiale, IFREMER, Plouzan, France;

H. Sasaki: Earth Simulator Center, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2
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Contact: Maria-Jose Vinas
mjvinas@agu.org
202-777-7530
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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