About this Research Topic
Air-Sea turbulent fluxes are key variables used in models of the atmosphere, ocean, and waves, in which they are boundary conditions.
The measurements of air-sea fluxes and of the associated characteristics of the sea surface and of the overlying atmosphere are critical to improve flux parameterizations in models, and thus improve the accuracy of the model output fields and our understanding of air-sea-wave interactions.
Collecting quality data is a challenging activity because of the motion of the platform on waves and/or because of the fact that the platform itself disturbs the measurements (flow distortion, radiation, generation of waves).
Most of the available flux data are collected on ships, fixed platforms, and buoys. However, with the recent improvements in techniques such as electronics, batteries, communication, and materials, there is now an increasing effort to design new platforms and new instruments that are expected to collect more accurate data at sea.
This call is dedicated to gathering recent developments that improve our knowledge of air-sea turbulent fluxes from technical and observational points of view. It welcomes any contribution that may lead to or report accurate observations of fluxes at the air-sea interface, as well as the relation between the fluxes, ocean surface wave characteristics, and air-sea conditions. Air-sea fluxes are considered here in their widest definition, also including turbulent fluxes of chemical species.
Contributions addressing the variations in time and space of air-sea variables at the sub-mesoscale are specifically expected to bring helpful science data to improve the parameterizations, to document model subgrid processes, and to validate satellite sensor data.
The observation of air-sea fluxes is not only a matter of measurement technique, but it also includes the data processing methods. Consequently, this call addresses a wide range of topics, from instrument and platform design, including space-borne sensors, to flux estimation methods and reports of recent sea experiment data.
The present call welcomes descriptions of new platforms or instruments designed to estimate turbulent exchanges across the interface that sample data locally or spatially, such as imagers or drones, or in challenging weather conditions, e.g. rain or sea spray. This call includes new instruments for measuring chemical species and aerosol fluxes, or challenging measurements such as atmospheric pressure fluctuations. The concept of new instrument also applies to short range (10 cm - 10 m) remote sensing of the relevant variables. The evaluation of available cutting-edge commercial instruments is also welcomed. For satellites, new concepts for providing air-sea fluxes with improved spatial resolution or accuracy are welcomed.
Contributions on methodological approaches to estimate fluxes are also welcomed. This can deal with the correction of airflow distortion around the measurement platforms at turbulent scales, or the development of new estimation methods in which atmospheric, wave, and upper ocean contributions are jointly considered.
Figure: Picture showing the MIO-OCARINA air-sea flux measurement platform, the LOCEAN-GRABISU surface temperature and salinity towed platform, and a dolphin.
Keywords: Air-sea flux, Surface ocean waves, Sea platform, Sensors, Sub-mesoscale
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.