On the calculation of particle trajectories from sea surface current measurements and their use in satellite sea surface products off the Central California Coast
Spence, Luke J.
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This thesis explores the possibility and feasibility of improving existing satellite measurements of sea surface temperature (SST) by the incorporation of high- frequency (HF) radar-derived surface current data. Water parcels tagged with SST are advected using particle trajectories calculated by integrating surface current velocity data. The SST of these advected water parcels are compared to SST measurements at the final times and locations of the advected water parcels. Different methods of generating surface currents from HF radar measurements are also examined. The Totals current method is a local fitting method which generates surface current measurements by solving a least-squares equation fitting multiple measurements from different radar sites. The Open-boundary Modal Analysis (OMA) method is a global method which fits a series of eigenfunction modes to available radial measurements. These modes are generated by solving two Laplacian eigenvalue problems on the domain with Dirichlet and Neumann boundary conditions, and adding a set of boundary modes to account for flow across open boundaries. Any current field in the domain can be described using a combination of these modes. The two methods are compared for accuracy against an analytic solution to the linear Stommel problem.
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