Surface currents in operational oceanography: Key applications, mechanisms, and methods

Röhrs, J, Sutherland, G, Jeans, G, Bedington, M, Sperrevik, AK, Dagestad, K-F, Gusdal, Y, Mauritzen, C, Dale, A and LaCasce, JH 2021 Surface currents in operational oceanography: Key applications, mechanisms, and methods. Journal of Operational Oceanography. 1-29.

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This paper reviews physical mechanisms, observation techniques and modelling approaches dealing with surface currents on short time scales (hours to days) relevant for operational oceanography. Key motivations for this article include fundamental difficulties in reliable measurements and the persistent lack of a widely held consensus on the definition of surface currents. These problems are augmented by the fact that various methods to observe and model ocean currents yield very different representations of a surface current. We distinguish between four applicable definitions for surface currents; (i) the interfacial surface current, (ii) the direct wind-driven surface current, (iii) the surface boundary layer current, and (iv) an effective drift current. Finally, we discuss challenges in synthesising various data sources of surface currents - i.e. observational and modelling – and take a view on the predictability of surface currents concluding with arguments that parts of the surface circulation exhibit predictability useful in an operational context.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: CONTACT Johannes Röhrs Division for Ocean and Ice, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Henrik Mohns Plass, 1, Oslo, Norway This article has been republished with minor changes. These changes do not impact the academic content of the article
Additional Keywords: Surface currents; forecasting; upper ocean dynamics; ocean observation; ocean modelling
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine System Modelling
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 12 May 2021 08:24
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 08:24

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