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Assessing the footprint of a regional ocean observing system


Oke, PR and Sakov, P, Assessing the footprint of a regional ocean observing system, Journal of Marine Systems, 105-108 pp. 30-51. ISSN 0924-7963 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2012.05.009


We define the footprint of an ocean observation as the region that is well correlated to the observed variable at zero time-lag. The footprint of observations from an observation array provides an indication of the region that is effectively monitored by that array. This study examines the footprint of moorings that underpin the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). Based on sea-surface height, temperature, and velocity from a 17-year model run, we quantify the footprint of existing moorings to identify the extent to which the shelf circulation is likely to be represented by those moorings. We find that in combination, the nine long-term National Reference Stations (NRSs) effectively monitor, with a correlation of > 0.8, the interannual (intraseasonal) variability of the shelf circulation in about 80% (30%) of the region around Australia. The 28 additional IMOS moorings expand the combined footprint for intraseasonal variability to cover up to 70%. We identify several gaps in the observing system that could be filled by additional observations, including the regions off the east coast, the central Great Barrier Reef, the Great Australian Bight, parts of the north–west shelf, and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:coastal ocean, data assimilation, observing system design
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Oke, PR (Dr Peter Oke)
ID Code:119664
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2017-08-03
Last Modified:2017-10-23

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