Along or across front survey strategy? An operational example at an unstable front.

Rixen, M.; Allen, J.T.; Alderson, S.; Cornell, V.; Crisp, N.; Fielding, S.; Mustard, A.T.; Pollard, R.T.; Popova, E.E. ORCID:; Smeed, D.A. ORCID:; Srokosz, M.A. ORCID:; Barth, A.; Beckers, J-M,. 2003 Along or across front survey strategy? An operational example at an unstable front. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (1). 1017-[17pp].

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We present results of the optimization of near-real time on-board sampling strategy in the Iceland-Faroes oceanic frontal area, based on the outputs of a mesoscale 3D operational data assimilation forecasting experiment. By minimizing a root mean square error cost function, we show that in this example an along-front sampling strategy, i.e. with transects parallel to the front, produces smaller errors in temperature, salinity, nitrate, phytoplankton, and zooplankton fields, as a result of a combination of the direction of the sampling of the front and errors associated with the asynopticy of observations (Doppler effect). This is contrary to the classic across-front sampling strategies that are used in most field experiments reported in the literature, i.e. where transects are perpendicular to the front. A control model shows that at these spatio-temporal scales, the along front sampling strategy is optimal when the frontal instability has sufficiently developed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Keywords: ocean eddies, mesoscale eddies, biological physical modelling, ocean model, jets, ocean fronts
Date made live: 10 Feb 2004 +0 (UTC)

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