Numerical simulations to project Argo float positions in the mid-depth and deep southwest Pacific

TitleNumerical simulations to project Argo float positions in the mid-depth and deep southwest Pacific
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWang T, Gille ST, Mazloff MR, Zilberman NV, Du Y
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Date Published2018/06
Type of ArticleArticle

Argo float trajectories are simulated in the Southwest Pacific Basin (170°E-165°W, 25°S-45°S) using velocity fields from a 1/12° Southern Ocean model and a Lagrangian particle tracking model programmed to represent the vertical motions of profiling Argo floats. The system is applied to simulate both core Argo floats (typically parked at 1000-m depth and profiling to 2000-m depth) and Deep Argo floats (parked 500 m above the seafloor). The goal is to estimate Probability Density Functions (PDFs) predicting future float positions. Differences are expected in the trajectory statistics, largely because of limitations in the temporal and spatial resolution of the model fields and uncertainties associated with a random walk component included in the particle advection scheme to represent this unresolved variability. Nonetheless, the core Argo float displacements over ~100-day time intervals are mostly consistent with the derived PDFs, particularly in regions with stable mid-layer flows. For the Deep Argo floats, which are released in the open ocean and parked near the bottom, the simulations predict an average total displacement of less than 50 km within 100 days, in good agreement with the Deep Argo floats deployed as part of a pilot study. The study explores both the representativeness and the predictability of float displacements, with an aim to contribute to planning for the float observing system.

Short TitleJ. Atmos. Ocean. Technol.
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