September 12, 2015 

Dzwonkowski, B., Park, K., & Collini, R. (2015). The coupled estuarine-shelf response of a river-dominated system during the transition from low to high discharge. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120(9), 6145–6163.

Abstract: Opportunistic observations captured the coupled estuarine-shelf interactions as the Alabama coastal region transitioned from a period of low to flood river discharge conditions. The period of focus was 18 February to 10 April 2011 during which time a combination of in situ (water level, salinity and velocity) and remote sensing (ocean color) data provided information on the estuarine and shelf environment prior to, during, and post a major river discharge event that captured a relatively rare spatially synoptic view of the structural evolution of a discharge plume in response to changing forcing conditions. The discharge event generated major changes in the hydrographic conditions and forcing responses within the estuary and on the shelf. The resulting surface advected plume was observed for approximately two weeks, during which time the observed differences in shelf circulation were directly linked to the discharge plume and a plume bulge with anticyclonic circulation was identified at times throughout the event. The plume was exposed to a range of wind conditions which modulated the surface structure: downwelling winds elongated the plume structure and upwelling winds reversed and widened the plume. The influence of wind forcing, even during very low wind (<3.75 m s−1) and large outflow (∼7000 m3 s−1) conditions, was apparent, as a result of the shallow and wide characteristics of the plume. Anticyclonic bulge regions have only been identified in a few systems and the occurrence of this feature on the Alabama shelf has significant implications on transport and fate of river discharge in this region. Continue reading—> 


August 24, 2015

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Jubilee 2015 Report 

A Gulf of Mexico event to coordinate glider and other ocean observing activities

The AUV Jubilee was an inaugural event to coordinate glider and other in situ ocean data operations in the Gulf of Mexico for the month of July 2015. Our primary goal was to establish an open dialogue and collaboration with scientists across the Gulf, in order to acquire simultaneous ocean observations and leverage off of fellow participants to create a multifaceted and integrated data set. The AUV Jubilee was led by the University of Southern Mississippi’s Ocean Weather Laboratory (http://www.usm.edu/marine/research-owx), which hosted a series of webinars to display real-time satellite ocean color and several ocean circulation models (HYCOM/NCOM), as well as maps of product uncertainty to allow the participating scientists to adaptively sample features of interest (e.g., eddies, river filaments, fronts, etc.). This data fusion tool enabled the display of up-to-date locations of various glider and ship/aerial operations while they were deployed, and facilitated near real-time data exchanges in order to further assist in decision-making for adaptive sampling of ocean features. In addition to real-time operations, all participants were encouraged to submit data to the National Glider Data Assembly Center (NGDAC), so that the data could be available for assimilation into operational physical circulation models. The list of glider participants is shown below in Table 1. The scope of the AUV Jubilee also included an educational outreach component, in which a competitively selected group of highly qualified teachers were brought in for an intensive one week program that included curriculum development, hands on oceanographic experience, and participation in real-time glider operations.

Read the rest of the report here: AUV_Jubilee_2015