TitleRecovery of temperature, salinity, and potential density from ocean reflectivity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBiescas B, Ruddick BR, Nedimovic MR, Sallares V, Bornstein G, Mojica JF
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Keywordslow-frequency acoustic oceanography, ocean reflectivity, Seismic oceanography, thermohaline fronts, thermohaline intrusions
AbstractThis work explores a method to recover temperature, salinity, and potential density of the ocean using acoustic reflectivity data and time and space coincident expendable bathythermographs (XBT). The acoustically derived (vertical frequency >10 Hz) and the XBT-derived (vertical frequency <10 Hz) impedances are summed in the time domain to form impedance profiles. Temperature (T) and salinity (S) are then calculated from impedance using the international thermodynamics equations of seawater (GSW TEOS-10) and an empirical T-S relation derived with neural networks; and finally potential density ($\rho$) is calculated from T and S. The main difference between this method and previous inversion works done from real multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) data recorded in the ocean, is that it inverts density and it does not consider this magnitude constant along the profile, either in vertical or lateral dimension. We successfully test this method on MCS data collected in the Gulf of Cadiz (NE Atlantic Ocean). T, S, and $\rho$ are inverted with accuracies of $δ$Tsd=0.1C, $δ$Ssd=0.09, and $δ$$\rho$sd=0.02kg/m 3. Inverted temperature anomalies reveal baroclinic thermohaline fronts with intrusions. The observations support a mix of thermohaline features created by both double-diffusive and isopycnal stirring mechanisms. Our results show that reflectivity is primarily caused by thermal gradients but acoustic reflectors are not isopycnal in all domains. Key Points Recovery of oceanic T, S, and potential density from acoustic reflectivity data Thermal anomalies observations at the Mediterranean tongue level Comparison between acoustic reflectors in the ocean and isopycnals © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.