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Deduction of Synthetic Temperature Profiles from SST Observations in the Iceland-Faeroe Frontal Region

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Research Report]

Corporate Author:

SACLANT Undersea Research Centre

Report Date:


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Subsurface temperature and sound speed profiles are generated from satellite SST observations and validated by hydrocast observations. Hydrographic data from the October 1992 Iceland Faeroe frontal survey is used for the calculation of Empirical Orthogonal Functions EOFs. Statistical relationships between the EOF amplitudes and SSTs are derived and used for the construction of synthetic temperature profiles and sound speed distributions in the ocean. Average Root-Mean Square RMS errors were computed for synthetic temperature profiles in typical water categories. Corrections to the processed satellite SST data were applied using surface drifter data and sensitivity tests. The survey data reflects the water mass structure in three distinct regions Atlantic, Frontal and Arctic, for which characteristic TS curves are derived. The best agreement between the synthetically generated temperature profiles, from SST data, with CTD measurements occurs in the Arctic region where a tendency to follow the slope and magnitude versus depth exists. The Frontal region shows disagreements in the upper thermocline with agreement elsewhere. In the Atlantic region there is agreement only in the upper mixed layer. In the thermocline regime the slope exhibits a parallel offset relative to the data. The differences are attributed to the inherent errors of EOF reconstruction which peak in the thermocline and the scatter of EOF amplitudes versus SST measurements.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Thermodynamics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]