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For studies of oceanic particle transport and ecosystem variability, information about upper-ocean currents is necessary. Long-term in-situ measurements of ocean flow are available at relatively few locations. Two readily available derived current products are the 1/3° Ocean Surface Current Analysis Real-time (OSCAR) and the data-assimilating 1/12° global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) datasets. These products are compared to a 10-year continuous record of high-temporal resolution ocean currents and co-located winds measured by the Woods Hole Hawaii Ocean Time-series Site (WHOTS) mooring at Station ALOHA (22°45’N 158°W). WHOTS ADCP and current meter observations are used to describe the vertical and temporal variability of upper-ocean currents from 2004 – 2014, and reveal surprisingly little vertical variation (< 3 cm s-1) in mean currents from 4 to 105 m depth, and a NW to SW counterclockwise rotation with depth. This, and high correlation (~0.98) between ADCP depth bins in the top 40 m, imply that upper-ocean WHOTS velocity measurements are a useful proxy for surface currents, and may therefore compare well to surface current products. Comparisons of surface velocity between OSCAR and WHOTS, however, yielded correlations below ~0.6, with a sharp drop-off in coherence at periods shorter than ~30 days. Comparisons to HYCOM gave correlations of ~0.5. Unresolved tidal velocities, mapping and assimilation procedures, and altimeter sampling frequencies in the derived products; and mooring motion in the observations may be possible causes of the unfavorable comparisons.


Rosburg, K. C., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA,

Potemra, J. T., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA,

Santiago-Mandujano, F., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA,

Lukas, R., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA,

Weller, R. A., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA,

Plueddemann, A. J., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,


Poster presentation

Session #:040
Date: 03/01/2017
Time: 15:30 - 16:30
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: No

PosterID: 347