Monitoring temperature variability along the California Coast using Acoustic Tomography
Collins, Curtis A.
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The electronic emissions of a low frequency sound source placed by the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) project on Pioneer Seamount were monitored by a bottom lying receiver on Sur Ridge from April 1996 to February 1997. The processed signals show a stable arrival pattern that was repeated in all the transmissions during the 11 months. Using the processed data, a tomographic analysis to study the coastal ocean variability along this California transmission path was conducted. Systematically, the analysis involved forward acoustic modeling of the arrival structure using ray theory, associating the observed arrivals with the modeled arrivals, extracting the travel times of the arrivals, inverting the travel times for temporal and spatial temperature changes, and interpreting the observed temperature variations. In particular, the tomographic estimate was compared to the temperature and wind measurements from an in situ mooring deployed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institution (MBARI). The comparison show that the tomographic estimate is of high quality and that the observed temperature variations were linked to coastal upwelling and downwelling events. The data, methods and result, demonstrating fully the feasibility of using tomography to study coastal temperature variability in central California on a long term basis, are presented
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