PhD Dissertation Defense - Michael Campbell

Nov 10 2020 08:00 AM - Nov 10 2020 09:00 AM

TITLE: Mesoscale Eddy Dynamics and Scale in the Red Sea

PRESENTER: Michael Campbell

ADVISOR: Professor Burt Jones

DATE: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

TIME: 8:00 am - 9:00 am

LOCATION: Zoom


ABSTRACT: Recent efforts in understanding the variability inherent in coastal and offshore waters have highlighted the need for higher resolution sampling at finer spatial and temporal resolutions.  Gliders are increasingly used in these transitional waters due to their ability to provide these finer resolution data sets in areas where satellite coverage may be poor, ship-based surveys may be impractical, and important processes may occur below the surface.  Since no single instrument platform provides coverage across all needed spatial and temporal scales, Ocean Observation systems are using multiple types of instrument platforms for data collection.  However, this results in increasingly large volumes of data that need to be processed and analyzed and there is no current “best practice” methodology for combining these instrument platforms.  In this study, high resolution glider data, High Frequency Radar (HFR), and satellite-derived data products (MERRA_2 and ARMOR3D NRT Eddy Tracking) were used to quantify: 1) dominant scales of variability of the central Red Sea, 2) determine the minimum sampling frequency required to adequately characterize the central Red Sea, 3) discriminate whether the fine scale persistency of oceanographic variables determined from the glider data are comparable to those identified using HFR and satellite-derived data products, and 4) determine additional descriptive information regarding eddy occurrence and strength in the Red Sea from 2018-2019.  Both Integral Time Scale and Characteristic Length Scale analysis show that the persistence time frame from glider data for temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-α, and dissolved oxygen is 2-4 weeks and that these temporal scales match for HFR and MERRA_2 data, matching a similar description of a ”weather-band” level of temporal variability.  Additionally, the description of eddy activity in the Red Sea also supports this 2-4-week time frame, with the average duration of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies from 2018-2019 being 22 and 27 days, respectively.  Adoption of scale-based methods across multiple ocean observation areas can help define “best practice” methodologies for combining glider, HFR, and satellite-derived data to better understand the naturally occurring variability and improve resource allocation.

BIO: Michael Campbell received his BSc in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina in 2007 and his MS in Geography from Saint Cloud State University in 2012.  His research interest has been in the integration of spatial statistics with marine science.  His current PhD work in the Red Sea Research Center at KAUST is focused on establishing data integration methods for multiple platforms collect spatio-temporal data, including data collected from autonomous underwater vehicles, surface current mapping, and satellite derived data.