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Mini Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00358

The scientific and societal uses of global measurements of subsurface velocity

  • 1Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, United States
  • 2Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States
  • 3University of Rhode Island, United States
  • 4University of Hawaii, United States
  • 5Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan
  • 6Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA), United States
  • 7Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, United States
  • 8University of Tasmania, Australia

Ocean velocity defines ocean circulation, yet the available observations of subsurface velocity are under-utilized by society. The first step to address these concerns is to improve visibility of and access to existing measurements, which include acoustic sampling from ships, subsurface float drifts, and measurements from autonomous vehicles. While multiple programs provide data publicly, the present difficulty in finding, understanding, and using these data hinder broader use by managers, the public, and other scientists. Creating links from centralized national archives to project specific websites is an easy but important way to improve data discoverability and access. A further step is to archive data in centralized databases, which increases usage by providing a common framework for disparate measurements. This requires consistent data standards and processing protocols for all types of velocity measurements. Central dissemination will also simplify the creation of derived products tailored to end user goals. Eventually, this common framework will aid managers and scientists in identifying regions that need more sampling and in identifying methods to fulfill those demands. Existing technologies are capable of improving spatial and temporal sampling, such as using ships of opportunity or from autonomous platforms like gliders, profiling floats, or Lagrangian floats. Future technological advances are needed to fill sampling gaps and increase data coverage.

Keywords: velocity, Ocean measurements, subsurface, database, Sampling network, ADCP, Lagrangian drift, Motional induction, autonomous vehicle, Profiling float, Gliders

Received: 01 Nov 2018; Accepted: 12 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

John Siddorn, Met Office, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Sophie E. CRAVATTE, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), France
Bablu Sinha, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Szuts, Bower, Donohue, Girton, Hummon, Katsumata, Lumpkin, Ortner, Phillips, Rossby, Shay and Todd. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Zoltan B. Szuts, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, United States,