Interoperability of seasondes and wellen radars in mapping radial surface currents

J. Martinez-Pedraja, L. K. Shay, B. K. Haus, C. Whelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A dual-station high-frequency (HF) Wellen Radar (WERA) transmitting at 16MHz has observed nearreal-time surface currents over an approximate range of 100km across the Florida Straits since July 2004. During a 10-day period in April 2005 (15-25 April), a pair of 12.6-MHz SeaSondes (SS) were deployed south of the WERAs sites by NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). The resulting SS grid overlapped the southern portion of theWERAdomain. During the same period of time, a bottom-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) acquired subsurface current measurements within these HF radar grids starting at 14m below the surface in water of 86-m depth. The interoperability of beam-forming (WERA) and direction-finding (SS) HF radar technologies was examined. Comparisons of radial and vector currents for an 8-day concurrent time series suggested good agreement in current direction over both domains, where the surface currents' magnitudes were a maximum of 1.2ms-1. In the core of the radar domains consisting of 108 cells, hourly vector currents were obtained by combining WERA and SS radials. Generally, this can be done in a relatively straightforward manner, considering the geometric dilution of precision (GDOP). A second key issue is downscaling the SS measurements from a 3-km grid to a 1.1-km grid to match the WERA output. This enhanced grid spacing is important along the western flank of the Florida Current, where energetic, small-scale surface features have been observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2662-2675
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


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