Temporal and spatial decorrelation scales of the Yellow Sea thermal fields
Wells, Susan K.
Haeger, Steven D.
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Historically, studies on decorrelation scales have been conducted in the deep ocean waters. As the Navy shifts its interest toward the less understood shallow water regions, decorrelation scales need to be computed in order to use formerly deep water models such as the Optimum Thermal Interpolation System (OTIS) for shallow water regions such as the Yellow Sea. A data set containing over 35,000 temperature profiles from 1929 to 1991 was obtained from the Naval Oceanographic Office's MOODS data set. The winter and summer seasons provide realistic results. Winter has the smallest decorrelation scales of all the seasons, approximately 15 days and 165 km. Summer shows that there are different decorrelation scales between the surface and at depth. The surface has scales of 12.3 days and 251 km while at depth the scales are approximately 16.5 days and 163 km. An observational sampling network design is suggested for future sampling of the region. Spring and fall provide mixed results which may be due to the irregularities in time and space of the data set or to the very complex forcing mechanisms found in the region. Overall, this study gives a ground work for better refinement of decorrelation scales and thus, the ability to assess the conversion of deep water models to shallow water regions
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