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A biologist's guide to assessing ocean currents : a review

Fossette, Sabrina, Putman, Nathan F., Lohmann, Kenneth J., Marsh, Robert and Hays, Graeme C. 2012, A biologist's guide to assessing ocean currents : a review, Marine ecology progress series, vol. 457, pp. 285-301.

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Title A biologist's guide to assessing ocean currents : a review
Author(s) Fossette, Sabrina
Putman, Nathan F.
Lohmann, Kenneth J.
Marsh, Robert
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name Marine ecology progress series
Volume number 457
Start page 285
End page 301
Total pages 17
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2012
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Keyword(s) geostrophic
Ekman drift
dispersal
orientation
turtle
marine mammal
plankton
argos
satellite-tracking
Summary We review how ocean currents are measured (in both Eulerian and Lagrangian frameworks), how they are inferred from satellite observations, and how they are simulated in ocean general circulation models (OGCMs). We then consider the value of these ‘direct’ (in situ) and ‘indirect’ (inferred, simulated) approaches to biologists investigating current-induced drift of strong-swimming vertebrates as well as dispersion of small organisms in the open ocean. We subsequently describe 2 case studies. In the first, OGCM-simulated currents were compared with satellite-derived currents; analyses suggest that the 2 methods yield similar results, but that each has its own limitations and associated uncertainty. In the second analysis, numerical methods were tested using Lagrangian drifter buoys. Results indicated that currents simulated in OGCMs do not capture all details of buoy trajectories, but do successfully resolve most general aspects of current flows. We thus recommend that the errors and uncertainties in ocean current measurements, as well as limitations in spatial and temporal resolution of the surface current data, need to be considered in tracking studies that incorporate oceanographic data. Whenever possible, cross-validation of the different methods (e.g. indirect estimates versus buoy trajectories) should be undertaken before a decision is reached about which technique is best for a specific application.
Language eng
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Inter-Research
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058348

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.