Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications

Predicting the trajectories of buoyant objects drifting at the ocean surface is important for a variety of different applications. To minimize errors in predicted trajectories, the dominant transport mechanisms have to be considered. In addition to the background surface currents (i.e., geostrophic,...

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Main Authors: Mirjam van der Mheen, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Simone Cosoli, Moritz Wandres
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: Frontiers Media S.A. 2020-05-01
Series:Frontiers in Marine Science
Subjects:
Online Access:https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00305/full
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spelling doaj-24dcf98a45ed4b43b49ce6e6465742e82020-11-25T02:40:34ZengFrontiers Media S.A.Frontiers in Marine Science2296-77452020-05-01710.3389/fmars.2020.00305527321Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking ApplicationsMirjam van der Mheen0Charitha Pattiaratchi1Simone Cosoli2Moritz Wandres3Moritz Wandres4Oceans Graduate School and UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, AustraliaOceans Graduate School and UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, AustraliaOceans Graduate School and UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, AustraliaSchool of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering and UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, AustraliaGeoscience, Energy & Maritime Division, Pacific Community, Suva, FijiPredicting the trajectories of buoyant objects drifting at the ocean surface is important for a variety of different applications. To minimize errors in predicted trajectories, the dominant transport mechanisms have to be considered. In addition to the background surface currents (i.e., geostrophic, tidal, baroclinic currents), the wind-driven drift current can have a significant influence on the dynamics of buoyant objects. The drift current consists of two components: Stokes drift and a wind-induced shear current. The drift current has a strong vertical profile that can have a large influence on the transport of buoyant objects. However, few practical methods exist that consider the vertical profile of the drift current when predicting particle pathways on the ocean surface. The aim of this paper is to introduce a depth-dependent drift current correction factor (“drift factor”). We test the usefulness of this drift factor by simulating the transport of two types of ocean surface drifters, released simultaneously within the coverage of a high-frequency ocean radar (HFR) system. Our results show velocity differences between the two types of drifters and the HFR measured ocean surface currents. We suggest that these differences are the result of the drift current vertical profile. Our particle tracking simulations provide an illustrative example, indicating the importance of accounting for a drift factor that takes the variation of the drift current with depth into account.https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00305/fullparticle trackingsurface driftsurface current vertical shearwind-driven drift currentocean surface driftershigh-frequency radar
collection DOAJ
language English
format Article
sources DOAJ
author Mirjam van der Mheen
Charitha Pattiaratchi
Simone Cosoli
Moritz Wandres
Moritz Wandres
spellingShingle Mirjam van der Mheen
Charitha Pattiaratchi
Simone Cosoli
Moritz Wandres
Moritz Wandres
Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications
Frontiers in Marine Science
particle tracking
surface drift
surface current vertical shear
wind-driven drift current
ocean surface drifters
high-frequency radar
author_facet Mirjam van der Mheen
Charitha Pattiaratchi
Simone Cosoli
Moritz Wandres
Moritz Wandres
author_sort Mirjam van der Mheen
title Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications
title_short Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications
title_full Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications
title_fullStr Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications
title_full_unstemmed Depth-Dependent Correction for Wind-Driven Drift Current in Particle Tracking Applications
title_sort depth-dependent correction for wind-driven drift current in particle tracking applications
publisher Frontiers Media S.A.
series Frontiers in Marine Science
issn 2296-7745
publishDate 2020-05-01
description Predicting the trajectories of buoyant objects drifting at the ocean surface is important for a variety of different applications. To minimize errors in predicted trajectories, the dominant transport mechanisms have to be considered. In addition to the background surface currents (i.e., geostrophic, tidal, baroclinic currents), the wind-driven drift current can have a significant influence on the dynamics of buoyant objects. The drift current consists of two components: Stokes drift and a wind-induced shear current. The drift current has a strong vertical profile that can have a large influence on the transport of buoyant objects. However, few practical methods exist that consider the vertical profile of the drift current when predicting particle pathways on the ocean surface. The aim of this paper is to introduce a depth-dependent drift current correction factor (“drift factor”). We test the usefulness of this drift factor by simulating the transport of two types of ocean surface drifters, released simultaneously within the coverage of a high-frequency ocean radar (HFR) system. Our results show velocity differences between the two types of drifters and the HFR measured ocean surface currents. We suggest that these differences are the result of the drift current vertical profile. Our particle tracking simulations provide an illustrative example, indicating the importance of accounting for a drift factor that takes the variation of the drift current with depth into account.
topic particle tracking
surface drift
surface current vertical shear
wind-driven drift current
ocean surface drifters
high-frequency radar
url https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00305/full
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AT charithapattiaratchi depthdependentcorrectionforwinddrivendriftcurrentinparticletrackingapplications
AT simonecosoli depthdependentcorrectionforwinddrivendriftcurrentinparticletrackingapplications
AT moritzwandres depthdependentcorrectionforwinddrivendriftcurrentinparticletrackingapplications
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