Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 25 Issue 03

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Volume 25, No. 3
Pages 164 - 165

SIDEBAR • Improving the Quality and Accessibility of Current Profile Measurements in the Southern Ocean

Eric Firing Julia M. HummonTeresa K. Chereskin
First Paragraph

Like most modern oceanographic research vessels, RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer and ARSV Laurence M. Gould are equipped with acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) for measuring the structure of ocean currents over a range of several hundred meters below the hull, both on station and while underway. It takes more than the ADCP itself, however, to yield good current measurements. The end result depends on how and where the sonar is installed; on the quality of ancillary information including position, heading, and, for some sonars, speed of sound at the transducer; on the data acquisition and processing techniques; and on ambient conditions of weather, ice, noise, and the availability of acoustic scatterers in the water (Firing and Hummon, 2010). In addition, the value of the measurements depends not only on their accuracy but also on their accessibility to scientific users both in near real time at sea and as a final product ashore.


Firing, E., J.M. Hummon, and T.K. Chereskin. 2012. Improving the quality and accessibility of current profile measurements in the Southern Ocean. Oceanography 25(3):164–165, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2012.91.


Firing, E., and J.M. Hummon, 2010. Ship-mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers. In The GO-SHIP Repeat Hydrography Manual: A Collection of Expert Reports and Guidelines. E.M. Hood, C.L. Sabine, and B.M. Sloyan, eds, IOCCP Report Number 14, ICPO Publication Series Number 134. Available online at: http://www.go-ship.org/HydroMan.html (accessed March 19, 2012).

Sprintall, J., T.K. Chereskin, and C. Sweeney. 2012. High-resolution underway upper ocean and surface atmospheric observations in Drake Passage: Synergistic measurements for climate science. Oceanography 25(3):70–81, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2012.77.