Comparing the Currents Measured by CARTHE, CODE and SVP Drifters as a Function of Wind and Wave Conditions in the Southwestern Mediterranean Sea

Pierre Marie Poulain, Luca Centurioni, Tamay Özgökmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Instruments drifting at the ocean surface are quasi-Lagrangian, that is, they do not follow exactly the near-surface ocean currents. The currents measured by three commonly-used drifters (CARTHE, CODE and SVP) are compared in a wide range of sea state conditions (winds up to 17 m/s and significant wave height up to 3 m). Nearly collocated and simultaneous drifter measurements in the southwestern Mediterranean reveal that the CARTHE and CODE drifters measure the currents in the first meter below the surface in approximately the same way. When compared to SVP drogued at 15 m nominal depth, the CODE and CARTHE currents are essentially downwind (and down-wave), with a typical speed of 0.5–1% of the wind speed. However, there is a large scatter in velocity differences between CODE/CARTHE and SVP for all wind and sea state conditions encountered, principally due to vertical and horizontal shears not related to the wind. For the CODE drifter with wind speed larger than 10 m/s and significant wave height larger than 1 m, about 30–40% of this difference can be explained by Stokes drift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number353
JournalSensors
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
  • Drifters
  • Near-surface ocean currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing the Currents Measured by CARTHE, CODE and SVP Drifters as a Function of Wind and Wave Conditions in the Southwestern Mediterranean Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this