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Andy Jessup

Chair, AIRS Department & Senior Principal Oceanographer

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Affiliate Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering





Research Interests

Air-Sea Interaction, Remote Sensing


Dr. Jessup joined APL-UW as a research scientist in 1990 after receiving his Ph.D. in Oceanography and Ocean Engineering from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. He began a program in air-sea interaction using infrared techniques that has led to a wide variety of field and laboratory investigations. His recent interests include remote sensing of river inlets and the infrared signature of breaking waves relevant to wake detection. He is Chair of the Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing Department and a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering.


B.S.E. Engineering Science, University of Michigan, 1980

M.S.E. Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988

Ph.D. Oceanography & Ocean Engineering, MIT and WHOI Joint Program, 1990


Skin and Bulk Sea Surface Temperature Validation Program

There is a growing consensus that sea surface temperature (SST) products derived from satellite-based infrared (IR) sensors should include ocean skin temperature. To validate satellite-based measurements of skin temperature, widespread, in situ data are required.


Fluxes, Air-Sea Interaction, and Remote Sensing (FAIRS) Experiment

The transfer of momentum, heat, and gas across the air-sea boundary is characterized and quantified by measuring the underlying physical mechanisms with remote sensing instruments.


COHerent STructures in Rivers and Estuaries eXperiment

The experiment is a four-year collaborative project that couples state-of-the-art remote sensing and in situ measurements with advanced numerical modeling to characterize coherent structures in river and estuarine flows.

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Coherent structures are generated in rivers and estuaries when the flow interacts with bathymetric and coastline features or when density stratification causes a gradient in surface properties. These coherent structures produce surface signatures that can be detected and quantified using remote sensing techniques. A second objective of this project is to determine the extent to which these remotely sensed signatures can be used to initialize and guide predictive models.

The study site selected for Year 1 and Year 2 field operations was the Snohomish River in Everett, WA. Its annual mean flow of approximately 300 cubic meters per second is the third largest discharge into Puget Sound. The mouth of the river is defined by the city of Everett to the west (man-influenced) and Jetty Island to the east (natural). The river is dredged to a nominal depth of 5 m from the mouth at the south end of Jetty Island to approximately 12 km upstream, while the undredged depth is nominally 1-3 m. Thus the river profile is a compound channel, with the full 300 m width at Jetty Island containing the dredged channel of about 50 m width. The tidal forcing is strong, with the tidal range representing up to 2/3 of the river%u2019s mean depth. There is a bypass between the north end of Jetty Island and the mainland that connects to a mudflat area. During high tides, the river flow bifurcates between the main channel and this bypass, while at low tide very little flow occurs in the bypass. A sill extends from the north tip of Jetty Island to the southeast toward the opposite bank. The depth along this sill varies from 2 m to 5 m and terminates in a large scour hole in the middle of the channel with a depth of about 10 m.

This research is being conducted by a partnership of experts in remote sensing, numerical modeling, and estuarine dynamics from the University of Washington (Applied Physics Laboratory, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Oceanography) and Stanford University (Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory). The program is funded by a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

Thermal infrared multipath reflection from breaking waves observed at large incidence angles

Branch, R., C.C. Chickadel, and A.T. Jessup, "Thermal infrared multipath reflection from breaking waves observed at large incidence angles," IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 52, 249-256, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2013.2238241, 2014.

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1 Jan 2014

The infrared signature of breaking waves at large incidence angles was investigated using laboratory experiments and a radiometric model. Infrared imagery of the water surface at incidence angles greater than 70° shows multipath reflections for both spilling and plunging waves generated using a programmable wave maker. For the spilling breakers, the multipath signature was initially distinct from the breaking wave front roller signature but then merged to create a single large bright distributed target. For the plunging breakers, the roller and multipath signatures overlapped from the inception of breaking. The radiance of the multipath reflection was higher than the surrounding water for simulated cold sky conditions and lower for a simulated warm sky. A specular double-reflection model successfully predicted the presence of multipath reflection but the magnitude was sensitive to small uncertainties in geometry, wave slope, and input temperatures. The results show that multipath reflection from breaking waves is characteristic of large incidence angle infrared measurements and increases the area and magnitude of the infrared signature of breaking waves compared to the background.

Turbulent kinetic energy and coherent structures in a tidal river

Talke, S.A., A.R. Horner-Devine, C.C. Chickadel, and A.T. Jessup, "Turbulent kinetic energy and coherent structures in a tidal river," J. Geophys. Res., 118, 6965-6981, doi:10.1002/2012JC008103, 2013.

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1 Dec 2013

We investigate the relationship between turbulence statistics and coherent structures (CS) in an unstratified reach of the Snohomish River estuary using in situ velocity measurements and surface infrared (IR) imaging. Sequential IR images are used to estimate surface flow characteristics via a particle-image-velocimetry (PIV) technique, and are conditionally sampled to delineate the surface statistics of bottom-generated CS, or boils. In the water column, we find that turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) production exceeds dissipation near the bed but is less than dissipation in the midwater column and that TKE flux divergence closes a significant portion of the measured imbalance. The surface boundary leads to divergence in upwelling CS, and leads to the redistribution of vertical TKE to the horizontal. Very near the surface, statistical anisotropy is observed at length scales larger than the depth H (3%u20135 m), while boil-scale motions of O(1)m are nearly isotropic and exhibit a –5/3 turbulent cascade to smaller scales. Conditional sampling suggests that TKE dissipation in boils is approximately 2 times greater on average than dissipation in ambient flow. Similarly, surface boils are marked by significantly greater velocity variance, upwelling, divergence, and TKE flux divergence than ambient flow regions. Coherent structures and their surface manifestation, therefore, play an important role in the vertical transport of TKE and the water column distribution of dissipation, and are an important component of the TKE budget.

Tracking drifting surface objects with aerial infrared and electro-optical sensors

Krout, D.W., G. Okopal, A. Jessup, and E. Hanusa, "Tracking drifting surface objects with aerial infrared and electro-optical sensors," Proc., MTS/IEEE Oceans 2012, 14-19 October, Hampton Roads, VA, doi:10.1109/OCEANS.2012.6404804 (MTS/IEEE, 2012).

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14 Oct 2012

Recently, researchers at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington collected a unique dataset by suspending two cameras, one infrared and one electro-optical, from a balloon. This apparatus was then used to image objects drifting on the surface of Lake Washington. The authors took that data and built a processing stream to track the movements of those drifting surface objects.

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Statistics of surface divergence and their relation to air–water gas transfer velocity

Asher, W.E., H. Kiang, C.J. Zappa, M.R. Loewen, M.A. Mukto, T.M. Litchendorf, and A.T. Jessup,"Statistics of surface divergence and their relation to air–water gas transfer velocity," J. Geophys. Res., 117, doi:10.1029/2001JC007390, 2012.

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24 May 2012

Air-sea gas fluxes are generally defined in terms of the air/water concentration difference of the gas and the gas transfer velocity, kL. Because it is difficult to measure kL in the ocean, it is often parameterized using more easily measured physical properties. Surface divergence theory suggests that infrared (IR) images of the water surface, which contain information concerning the movement of water very near the air-water interface, might be used to estimate kL. Therefore, a series of experiments testing whether IR imagery could provide a convenient means for estimating the surface divergence applicable to air-sea exchange were conducted in a synthetic jet array tank embedded in a wind tunnel. Gas transfer velocities were measured as a function of wind stress and mechanically generated turbulence; laser-induced fluorescence was used to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide in the top 300 µm of the water surface; IR imagery was used to measure the spatial and temporal distribution of the aqueous skin temperature; and particle image velocimetry was used to measure turbulence at a depth of 1 cm below the air-water interface. It is shown that an estimate of the surface divergence for both wind-shear driven turbulence and mechanically generated turbulence can be derived from the surface skin temperature. The estimates derived from the IR images are compared to velocity field divergences measured by the PIV and to independent estimates of the divergence made using the laser-induced fluorescence data. Divergence is shown to scale with kL values measured using gaseous tracers as predicted by conceptual models for both wind-driven and mechanically generated turbulence.

Frontogenesis and frontal progression of a trapping-generated estuarine convergence front and its influence on mixing and stratification

Giddings, S.N., D.A. Fong, S.G. Monismith, C.C. Chickadel, K.A. Edwards, W.J. Plant, B. Wang, O.B. Fringer, A.R. Horner-Devine, and A.T. Jessup, "Frontogenesis and frontal progression of a trapping-generated estuarine convergence front and its influence on mixing and stratification," Estuar. Coasts, 35, 665-681, doi:10.1007/s12237-011-9453-z, 2012.

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1 Mar 2012

Estuarine fronts are well known to influence transport of waterborne constituents such as phytoplankton and sediment, yet due to their ephemeral nature, capturing the physical driving mechanisms and their influence on stratification and mixing is difficult. We investigate a repetitive estuarine frontal feature in the Snohomish River Estuary that results from complex bathymetric shoal/channel interactions. In particular, we highlight a trapping mechanism by which mid-density water trapped over intertidal mudflats converges with dense water in the main channel forming a sharp front. The frontal density interface is maintained via convergent transverse circulation driven by the competition of lateral baroclinic and centrifugal forcing. The frontal presence and propagation give rise to spatial and temporal variations in stratification and vertical mixing. Importantly, this front leads to enhanced stratification and suppressed vertical mixing at the end of the large flood tide, in contrast to what is found in many estuarine systems. The observed mechanism fits within the broader context of frontogenesis mechanisms in which varying bathymetry drives lateral convergence and baroclinic forcing. We expect similar trapping-generated fronts may occur in a wide variety of estuaries with shoal/channel morphology and/or braided channels and will similarly influence stratification, mixing, and transport.

Infrared-based measurements of velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, and dissipation at the water surface in a tidal river

Chickadel, C.C., S.A. Talke, A.R Horner-Devine, and A.T. Jessup, "Infrared-based measurements of velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, and dissipation at the water surface in a tidal river," IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 8, 849-853, doi:10.1109/LGRS.2011.2125942, 2011.

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1 Sep 2011

Thermal infrared (IR)-based particle image velocimetry (PIV) is used to measure the evolution of velocity, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), and the TKE dissipation rate at the water surface in the tidally influenced Snohomish River. Patterns of temperature variability in the IR imagery arise from disruption of the cool-skin layer and are used to estimate the 2-D velocity field. Comparisons of IR-based PIV mean velocity made with a colocated acoustic velocimeter demonstrate high correlation. IR-based PIV provides detailed measurements of previously inaccessible surface velocities and turbulence statistics.

The impact of measurement uncertainty and spatial variability on the accuracy of skin and subsurface regression-based sea surface temperature algorithms

Castro, S.L., G.A. Wick, P.J. Minnett, A.T. Jessup, and W.J. Emery, "The impact of measurement uncertainty and spatial variability on the accuracy of skin and subsurface regression-based sea surface temperature algorithms," Remote Sens. Environ., 114, 2666-2678, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2010.06.003, 2010.

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24 Jul 2010

An ongoing limitation of common regression-based infrared (IR) satellite sea surface temperature (SST) algorithms has been the lack of sufficient in situ skin temperature measurements for derivation of the algorithm coefficients. Since IR brightness temperatures respond to the skin temperature, use of the more numerous subsurface observations to tune the algorithms introduces uncertainty into the resulting SST products. Coincident in situ skin and subsurface SST measurements from three years of cruises are used to derive parallel skin and subsurface multichannel SST (MCSST)-type regression algorithms to determine the extent to which improved accuracy can be obtained using the skin measurements. Through use of only coincident measurements, the advantage offered by the greater volume of available subsurface observations is eliminated. Surprisingly, we find no accuracy improvement using skin SST algorithms relative to algorithms derived from the research-grade ship-borne subsurface temperature measurements used in our analysis. However, better accuracy was found relative to algorithms derived from subsurface observations whose accuracy was degraded to that of buoys. The results are robust with regard to satellite resolution, collocation criteria, geographical regions, and time of day.

The accuracy differences are found to be generally consistent with the effects of: (1) increased measurement uncertainty of radiometric measurements relative to research-grade subsurface observations, and (2) differences in spatial variability between the skin SST and temperature-at-depth. The subsurface algorithms are regenerated after degrading the subsurface measurements by adding increasing levels of Gaussian white noise to determine the amplitude of the additional variability required to ensure equal accuracy between the skin and subsurface products. The required supplemental noise ranges between 0.10 and 0.17 K for all data combined and generally decreases with tighter collocation windows and higher-resolution satellite observations. Variogram analysis and filtering of the in situ measurements suggest that differences in measurement uncertainty between the infrared radiometers and the subsurface sensors can explain 0.07–0.10 K of the required noise, while differences in spatial variability with depth can account for up to 0.07–0.10 K of the residual noise. A key consequence is that spatial averages of the skin temperature over satellite footprints of 2 km or more, while potentially biased in the mean, may exhibit less variance relative to point samples of the subsurface temperature than to the actual radiometric skin temperature.

Remotely sensed river surface features compared with modeling and in situ measurements

Plant, W.J., R. Branch, G. Chatham, C.C. Chickadel, K. Hayes, B. Hayworth, A. Horner-Devine, A. Jessup, D.A. Fong, O.B. Fringer, S.N. Giddings, S. Monismith, and B. Wang, "Remotely sensed river surface features compared with modeling and in situ measurements," J. Geophys. Res., 114, doi:10.1029/2009JC005440, 2009.

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3 Nov 2009

Images of river surface features that reflect the bathymetry and flow in the river have been obtained using remote sensing at microwave, visible, and infrared frequencies. The experiments were conducted at Jetty Island near the mouth of the Snohomish River at Everett, Washington, where complex tidal flow occurs over a varied bathymetry, which was measured as part of these experiments. An X band (9.36 GHz) Doppler radar was operated from the river bank and produced images of normalized radar cross sections and radial surface velocities every 20 min over many tidal cycles. The visible and infrared instruments were flown in an airplane. All of these techniques showed surface evidence of frontal features, flow over a sill, and flow conditioned by a deep hole. These features were modeled numerically, and the model results correspond well to the remote observations. In situ measurements made near the hole showed that changes in measured velocities correlate well with the occurrence of the features in the images. In addition to tidal phase, the occurrence of these features in the imagery depends on tidal range. The surface roughness observed in the imagery appears to be generated by the bathymetry and flow themselves rather than by the modulation of wind waves.

Evidence for complete and partial surface renewal at an air-water interface

Jessup, A.T., W.E. Asher, M. Atmane, K. Phadnis, C.J. Zappa, and M.R. Loewen, "Evidence for complete and partial surface renewal at an air-water interface," Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, doi:10.1029/2009GL038986, 2009.

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27 Aug 2009

A wind-wave flume is used to determine the extent to which the thermal boundary layer (TBL) at a wind-forced air-water interface is completely renewed from below. We measure skin temperature, Tskin , radiometrically, temperature immediately below the TBL, Tsubskin , using a temperature profiler, and net heat flux using the gradient flux technique. The Tskin probability density function, p(Tskin), and surface renewal time scale were measured using passive and active infrared imaging techniques, respectively. We find that the mean percentile rank of Tsubskin in p(Tskin) is 99.90, implying that complete surface renewal occurs. This result suggests an alternative to radiometric measurement of Tskin through the simple combination of an infrared camera and an in situ temperature sensor. Comparison of the temperature difference across the TBL to the expected cooling implies that a significant portion of events only partially renew the TBL. This result should impact efforts to improve air-sea transfer models.

A fourier-based method for the distribution of breaking crests from video observations

Thomson, J., and A.T. Jessup, "A fourier-based method for the distribution of breaking crests from video observations," J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 26, 1663-1671, doi:10.1175/2009JTECHO622.1, 2009.

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1 Aug 2009

A Fourier-based method is presented to process video observations of water waves and calculate the speed distribution of breaking crest lengths. The method has increased efficiency and robust statistics compared with conventional algorithms that assemble distributions from tracking individual crests in the time domain. The method is tested using field observations (video images of whitecaps) of fetch-limited breaking waves during case studies with low (6.7 m s-1), moderate (8.5 m s-1), and high (12.6 m s-1) wind speeds. The method gives distributions consistent with conventional algorithms, including breaking rates that are consistent with direct observations. Results are applied to obtain remote estimates of the energy dissipation associated with wave breaking.

Energy dissipation and the spectral distribution of whitecaps

Thomson, J., J.R. Gemmrich, and A.T. Jessup, "Energy dissipation and the spectral distribution of whitecaps," Geophys. Res. Lett, 36, doi:10.1029/2009GL038201, 2009.

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3 Jun 2009

Energy dissipation by breaking water waves is quantified indirectly using remote observations (digital video recordings) and directly using in situ observations (acoustic Doppler velocity profiles). The analysis is the first validation using field data to test the Duncan-Phillips formulation relating energy dissipation to the spectral distribution of whitecap speeds and lengths. Energy dissipation estimates are in agreement over two orders of magnitude, and demonstrate a promising method for routine observation of wave breaking dynamics. Breaking statistics are partitioned into contributions from waves at the peak of the wave-height spectrum and waves at higher frequencies in the spectrum. Peak waves are found to be only 10% of the total breaking rate, however peak waves contribute up to 75% of the total dissipation rate. In addition, breaking statistics are found to depend on the peak wave steepness and the energy input by the wind.

Vertical boil propagation from a submerged estuarine sill

Chickadel, C.C., A.R. Horner-Devine, S.A. Talke, and A.T. Jessup, "Vertical boil propagation from a submerged estuarine sill," Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, doi:10.1029/2009GL037278, 2009.

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20 May 2009

Surface disruptions by boils during strong tidal flows over a rocky sill were observed in thermal infrared imagery collected at the Snohomish River estuary in Washington State. Locations of boil disruptions and boil diameters at the surface were quantified and are used to test an idealized model of vertical boil propagation. The model is developed as a two-dimensional approximation of a three-dimensional vortex loop, and boil vorticity is derived from the flow shear over the sill. Predictions of boil disruption locations were determined from the modeled vertical velocity, the sill depth, and the over-sill velocity. Predictions by the vertical velocity model agree well with measured locations (rms difference 3.0 m) and improve by using measured velocity and shear (rms difference 1.8 m). In comparison, a boil-surfacing model derived from laboratory turbulent mixed-layer wakes agrees with the measurements only when stratification is insignificant.

Relating microwave modulation to microbreaking observed in infrared imagery

Branch, R., W.J. Plant, M. Gade, A.T. Jessup, "Relating microwave modulation to microbreaking observed in infrared imagery," IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 5, 364-367, 10.1109/LGRS.2008.916198, 2008.

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16 Jul 2008

Microwave modulation by swell waves and its relation to microbreaking waves were investigated in an ocean experiment. Simultaneous collocated microwave and infrared (IR) measurements of wind waves and swell on the ocean were made. The normalized radar cross section sigma0 and the skin temperature Tskin were both modulated by the swell, but with differing phases. In general, sigma0 maxima occurred on the front face, whereas Tskin maxima occurred on the rear face of the swell. Infrared imagery has shown that swell-induced microbreaking occurred at or near the swell crest and that the resulting warm wakes occurred on the rear face of the wave. When tilt and range modulations are taken into account, the location of microbreaking also accounts for the maximum of sigma0 occurring on the front face of the swell. Thus, microbreaking waves generated near the crest of low-amplitude swell can produce microwave and IR signatures with the observed phase. The relationship between microwave and IR signals was further emphasized by comparing microwave Doppler spectra with simultaneous IR and visible images of the sea surface from the same location. When small and microscale breaking waves were present, Doppler spectra exhibited characteristics that are similar to those from whitecaps, having peaks with large Doppler offsets and polarization ratios near unity. When no microbreakers were present, Doppler offsets and polarization ratios were much smaller in accordance with a composite surface scattering theory.

Comparisons of shipboard infrared sea surface skin temperature measurements from the CIRIMS and the M-AERI

Branch, R., A.T. Jessup, P.J. Minnett, and E.L. Key, "Comparisons of shipboard infrared sea surface skin temperature measurements from the CIRIMS and the M-AERI," J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 25, 598-606, 2008.

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1 Apr 2008

Extensive comparisons are made of the infrared sea surface skin temperature Tskin measured by the Calibrated Infrared In situ Measurement System (CIRIMS) and the Marine-Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI). Data were collected from four separate deployments on the NOAA research vessel (R/V) Ronald H. Brown and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Polar Sea over a wide range of latitudes and environmental conditions. The deployment time totaled roughly 6 months over a 4-yr period and resulted in over 7000 comparison values.

The mean offset between the two instruments showed that CIRIMS consistently measured a lower temperature than the M-AERI, but by less than 0.10°C. This mean offset was found to be dependent upon sky condition, wind speed, and ship roll, which implies the offset is likely due to uncertainty in the emissivity. The CIRIMS Tskin was recomputed using two alterative emissivity values, one based on emissivity measured by the M-AERI and the other based on a wind-speed-dependent model. In both cases, the recomputation of the CIRIMS Tskin significantly reduced the mean offset. The overall standard deviation between the M-AERI and CIRIMS Tskin was 0.16°C, did not significantly depend on environmental conditions, and was within the expected values of instrument and comparison uncertainties. These comparisons demonstrate the success of CIRIMS in achieving good agreement with the M-AERI over a wide range of conditions. The results also highlight the importance of the sea surface emissivity when measuring the ocean surface skin temperature.

Integrated ocean skin and bulk temperature measurements using the Calibrated Infrared in Situ Measurement System (CIRIMS) and through-hull ports

Jessup, A.T., and R. Branch, "Integrated ocean skin and bulk temperature measurements using the Calibrated Infrared in Situ Measurement System (CIRIMS) and through-hull ports," J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 25, 579-597, 2008.

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1 Apr 2008

The design and performance of a shipboard-integrated system for underway skin and bulk temperature is presented. The system consists of the Calibrated Infrared In situ Measurement System (CIRIMS) and through-hull temperature sensors. The CIRIMS is an autonomous shipboard radiometer system that measures the sea surface skin temperature Tskin for validation of satellite-derived sea surface temperature products. General design considerations for shipboard radiometer systems are discussed and the philosophy behind the CIRIMS design is presented. Unique features of the design include a constant temperature housing to stabilize instrument drift, a two-point dynamic calibration procedure, separate sky- and sea-viewing radiometers for simultaneous measurements, and the ability to use an infrared transparent window for environmental protection. Laboratory testing and field deployments are used to establish an estimated error budget, which includes instrumentation and environmental uncertainties.

The combination of this testing and field comparison to the Marine-Atmosphere Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI) and Infrared SST Autonomous Radiometer (ISAR) instruments indicates that the CIRIMS meets the design goal of ±0.10°C accuracy. Temperature and pressure sensors were installed in custom-designed through-hull ports on the NOAA research vessel (R/V) Ronald H. Brown and the University of Washington R/V Thomas G. Thompson to complement the CIRIMS measurements. The ports allow sensors to be installed while the ship is in water and can accommodate a variety of sensors. The combined system provides the ability to measure near-surface temperature profiles from the skin to a depth of 5 m while underway.

Infrared signatures of microbreaking wave modulation

Branch, R., and A.T. Jessup, "Infrared signatures of microbreaking wave modulation," IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 4, 372-376, doi:10.1109/LGRS.2007.895688, 2007.

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16 Jul 2007

Infrared (IR) imagery of microbreaking waves in the ocean and laboratory showed modulation of breaking by swell and paddle-generated waves, respectively. Skin temperature also was modulated by the long waves, with the maxima occurring on the rear face of the long waves in both the laboratory and the field. The IR imagery from the ocean and laboratory showed that long-wave-induced microbreaking occurred at or near the long wave crest, and the resulting warm wakes occurred on the rear face. Thus, microbreaking waves generated near the crest of low-amplitude long waves can produce modulation with the maxima on the rear face. This mechanism was shown to be responsible for modulation of the measured in the laboratory and also likely contributed to the modulation observed in the field.

Sea surface temperature signatures of oceanic internal waves in low winds

Farrar, J.T., C.J. Zappa, R.A. Weller, and A.T. Jessup, "Sea surface temperature signatures of oceanic internal waves in low winds," J. Geophys. Res., 112, 10.1029/2006JC003947, 2007.

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20 Jun 2007

In aerial surveys conducted during the Tropical Ocean–Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment and the low-wind component of the Coupled Boundary Layer Air-Sea Transfer (CBLAST-Low) oceanographic field programs, sea surface temperature (SST) variability at relatively short spatial scales (O(50 m) to O(1 km)) was observed to increase with decreasing wind speed. A unique set of coincident surface and subsurface oceanic temperature measurements from CBLAST-Low is used to investigate the subsurface expression of this spatially organized SST variability, and the SST variability is linked to internal waves. The data are used to test two previously hypothesized mechanisms for SST signatures of oceanic internal waves: a modulation of the cool-skin effect and a modulation of vertical mixing within the diurnal warm layer.

Under conditions of weak winds and strong insolation (which favor formation of a diurnal warm layer), the data reveal a link between the spatially periodic SST fluctuations and subsurface temperature and velocity fluctuations associated with oceanic internal waves, suggesting that some mechanism involving the diurnal warm layer is responsible for the observed signal. Internal-wave signals in skin temperature very closely resemble temperature signals measured at a depth of about 20 cm, indicating that the observed internal-wave SST signal is not a result of modulation of the cool-skin effect. Numerical experiments using a one-dimensional upper ocean model support the notion that internal-wave heaving of the warm-layer base can produce alternating bands of relatively warm and cool SST through the combined effects of surface heating and modulation of wind-driven vertical shear.

Ship-based measurements for infrared sensor validation during Aerosol and Ocean Science Expedition 2004

Nalli, N.R., P. Clemente-Colon, P.J. Minnett, M. Szczodrak, V. Morris, E. Joseph, M.D. Goldberg, C.D. Barnet, W.W. Wolf, A. Jessup, R. Branch, R.O. Knuteson, and W.F. Feltz, "Ship-based measurements for infrared sensor validation during Aerosol and Ocean Science Expedition 2004," J. Geophys. Res., 111, 10.1029/2005JD006385, 2006.

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7 Apr 2006

This paper describes a unique validation data set acquired from a marine intensive observing period (IOP) conducted on board the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown (RHB) during the 2004 Aerosol and Ocean Science Expedition (AEROSE) in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean from 29 February to 26 March 2004. The radiometric and in situ data complement includes marine observations of the Saharan air layer (SAL), including two significant Saharan dust outbreaks over the Atlantic Ocean. Because the impact of tropospheric dust aerosols on satellite infrared (IR) radiometric observations has not yet been fully characterized, the AEROSE data are particularly valuable for IR sensor validation. Shipboard radiometric data germane to satellite validation include observations from a Marine Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI), a Calibrated Infrared In situ Measurement System (CIRIMS), and Microtops handheld sunphotometers. Among other things, these data provide, for the first time, coincident IR spectra of the dry, dusty SAL from both the uplooking M-AERI and the downlooking Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on board the Aqua satellite. In situ data collected throughout the cruise include Vaisala RS80/90 radiosondes, launched 3-hourly to include Aqua overpass times. The Aqua matchup profiles provide data for validation of AIRS in the presence of high dust loading, along with temperature and water vapor profile retrievals of the SAL. The frequency of sonde launches also enables validation of coincident uplooking M-AERI boundary layer profile retrievals. Preliminary analyses of the AEROSE data are presented here. Focused AEROSE validation studies are the subjects of separate papers.

Improved oceanic cool-skin corrections using a refined solar penetration model

Wick, G.A., J.C. Ohlmann, C.W. Fairall, and A.T. Jessup, "Improved oceanic cool-skin corrections using a refined solar penetration model," J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 1986-1996, doi:10.1175/JPO2803.1, 2005

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1 Nov 2005

The oceanic near-surface temperature profile must be accurately characterized to enable precise determination of air–sea heat exchange and satellite retrievals of sea surface temperature. An improved solar transmission parameterization is integrated into existing models for the oceanic warm layer and cool skin within the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) bulk flux model to improve the accuracy of predictions of the temperature profile and corresponding heat flux components. Application of the revised bulk flux model to data from 12 diverse cruises demonstrates that the improved parameterization results in significant changes to the predicted cool-skin effect and latent heat fluxes at low wind speeds with high solar radiation due to reduced absorption of solar radiation just below the surface.

Daytime skin-layer cooling is predicted to increase by 0.03 K on average but by more than 0.25 K for winds below 1 m s-1 and surface irradiance exceeding 900 W m2. Predicted changes to the warm-layer correction were smaller but exceeded 0.1 K below 1 m s-1. Average latent and sensible heat fluxes changed by 1 W m-2, but the latent flux decreased by 5 W m-2 near winds of 0.5 m s-1 and surface irradiance of 950 W m-2. Comparison with direct observations of skin-layer cooling demonstrated, in particular, that use of the improved solar transmission model resulted in the reduction of previous systematic overestimates of diurnal skin-layer warming. Similar results can be achieved using a simplified treatment of solar absorption with an appropriate estimate of the fraction of incident solar radiation absorbed within the skin layer.

Measurement of the geometric and kinematic properties of microscale breaking waves from infrared imagery using a PIV algorithm

Jessup, A.T., and K.R. Phadnis, "Measurement of the geometric and kinematic properties of microscale breaking waves from infrared imagery using a PIV algorithm," Meas. Sci. Technol., 16, 1961-1969, DOI: 10.1088/0957-0233/16/10/011, 2005

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23 Aug 2005

Infrared techniques have been shown to be uniquely capable of detecting and quantifying microscale breaking waves at an air–water interface. Here we extend current capabilities by developing image processing algorithms to measure the crest lengths and velocities of microbreaking waves in a laboratory wind–wave tank. The measurements are used to compute the distribution of crest lengths as a function of speed, ∆(c), introduced by Phillips [1] as a formulation for the distribution of breaking waves. Two methods to determine the crest velocity by applying a particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) algorithm to the infrared imagery are developed and compared to a method based on tracking the centroid of the crest. The crest-PIV method is based on estimation of the velocity of crests identified using a temperature threshold. The image-PIV method is based on a velocity threshold applied to a surface velocity map obtained by using the PIV algorithm over the entire image. Both methods are used to compute the surface turnover rate, which is compared to the frequency of breaking. The methods developed demonstrate the potential for infrared imaging techniques to measure the geometric and kinematic properties of microbreaking waves and are relevant to air–sea flux studies.

High-resolution airborne infrared measurements of ocean skin temperature

Zappa, C.J., and A.T. Jessup, "High-resolution airborne infrared measurements of ocean skin temperature," IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 2, 146-150, 2005

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18 Apr 2005

Airborne measurements of ocean skin temperature Ts are presented from the Coupled Boundary Layers, Air-Sea Transfer in Low Winds (CBLAST-Low) Pilot Experiment in August 2001 off Martha's Vineyard, MA. We used an infrared (IR) camera with a spatial resolution of 1 m or less and temperature resolution of roughly 0.02°C. Using subframe sampling of the IR imagery, we achieve lower noise and higher spatial resolution than reported by previous investigators using IR radiometers. Fine-scale maps of Ts exhibit horizontal variability over spatial scales ranging from O(10 km) down to O(1 m) that are related to atmospheric and subsurface phenomena under low to moderate wind conditions. Based on supporting measurements of wind and waves, we identify coherent ramp-like structures in Ts with stratification breakdown and meandering streaky features with internal waves. Regional maps of Ts show the standard deviation for the region is ±1.04°C, while the meridional and zonal variability is 0.23°C x km-1 and 0.27°C x km-1, respectively. This temperature variability results in meridional and zonal scalar heat flux variability of 7.0 W x m-2 x km-1 and 7.6 W x m-2 x km-1, respectively. Our results demonstrate the potential for airborne IR imagery accompanied by high-quality ocean data to identify Ts features produced by subsurface circulation.

Microbreaking and the enhancement of air-water transfer velocity

Zappa, C.J., W.E. Asher, A.T. Jessup, J. Klinke, and S.R. Long, "Microbreaking and the enhancement of air-water transfer velocity," J. Geophys. Res., 109, 10.1029/2003JC001897, 2004.

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27 Aug 2004

The role of microscale wave breaking in controlling the air-water transfer of heat and gas is investigated in a laboratory wind-wave tank. The local heat transfer velocity, kH , is measured using an active infrared technique and the tank-averaged gas transfer velocity, kG , is measured using conservative mass balances. Simultaneous, colocated infrared and wave slope imagery show that wave-related areas of thermal boundary layer disruption and renewal are the turbulent wakes of microscale breaking waves, or microbreakers. The fractional area coverage of microbreakers, AB , is found to be 0.10.4 in the wind speed range 4.2–9.3 m s-1 for cleaned and surfactant-influenced surfaces, and kH and kG are correlated with AB . The correlation of kH with AB is independent of fetch and the presence of surfactants, while that for kG with AB depends on surfactants. Additionally, AB is correlated with the mean square wave slope, S2, which has shown promise as a correlate for kG in previous studies. The ratio of kH measured inside and outside the microbreaker wakes is 3.4, demonstrating that at these wind speeds, up to 75% of the transfer is the direct result of microbreaking. These results provide quantitative evidence that microbreaking is the dominant mechanism contributing to air-water heat and gas transfer at low to moderate wind speeds.

Introduction to special edition: Air-sea exchange

McGillis, W.R., W.E. Asher, R. Wanninkhof, A.T. Jessup, and R.A. Feely, "Introduction to special edition: Air-sea exchange," J. Geophys. Res., 109, 10.1029/2004JC002605, 2004.

19 Aug 2004

Oceanic application of the active controlled flux technique for measuring air-sea transfer velocities of heat and gases

Asher, W.E., A.T. Jessup, and M.A. Atmane, "Oceanic application of the active controlled flux technique for measuring air-sea transfer velocities of heat and gases," J. Geophys. Res., 109, 10.1029/2003JC001862, 2004.

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13 Aug 2004

Detailed understanding of the hydrodynamic mechanisms controlling the air-sea exchange of heat and gas requires a method for rapid measurement of the associated transfer velocities. The active controlled flux technique (ACFT), where the temperature decay of a small patch of water heated by an infrared laser is tracked using an infrared imager, has been proposed as a method for making these fast noninvasive measurements of the heat and gas transfer velocities. Here, we report on ACFT measurements of the transfer velocity of heat, kH, made in the ocean during the Fluxes, Air-sea Interactions and Remote Sensing (FAIRS) experiment (September/October, 2000) and GasEx-01 (January/February, 2001). The results for kH from both FAIRS and GasEx-01 compare favorably when plotted versus wind speed. However, when scaled to a Schmidt number of 660, the measured kH values were found to be a factor of two larger than gas transfer velocities measured during GasEx-01. The ACFT-derived kH values were combined with direct measurements of the bulk-skin oceanic temperature difference to calculate net air-sea heat fluxes during both experiments. Comparison of these values with heat fluxes determined by direct measurements of the latent, sensible, and radiative heat fluxes showed that the ACFT measurements are a factor of seven larger than the direct measurements. One possible theory explaining both the overprediction of the gas transfer velocities and the scale factor between the measured and calculated net heat fluxes is that air-sea exchange is best described by surface penetration rather than surface renewal.

On the use of the active infrared technique to infer heat and gas transfer velocities at the air-water free surface

Atmane, M.A., W.E. Asher, and A.T. Jessup, "On the use of the active infrared technique to infer heat and gas transfer velocities at the air-water free surface," J. Geophys. Res., 109, 10.1029/2003JC001805, 2004.

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8 Jul 2004

A comparison study of the experimental and theoretical transfer velocities of heat and gas transfer at a wavy air-water interface is undertaken using an active infrared technique and two gas tracers. Applying the surface renewal model formalism [ Danckwerts, 1951], we find that the experimentally evaluated heat transfer velocity is roughly a factor of 2 higher than the transfer velocity of a gas with a low solubility in water when both are referenced to Sc = 600. Potential origins of such a discrepancy are investigated and we propose the use of the random eddy model [ Harriott, 1962 ] to explain our results. The model is an extension of surface renewal to include the eddy approach distance as a new parameter. Numerical simulations of the random eddy model have been performed using a timescale evaluated from the Active Controlled Flux Technique (ACFT) and the characteristics of heat as well as the two gases used in the experiments (He and SF6). The simulation results show that the transfer velocities of two species, referenced to the same Schmidt number, are different and that their ratio depends on the average value of the approach distance and its distribution. The model as implemented in the present work also predicts changes in the Schmidt number exponent when the hydrodynamics conditions are varied.

Biases in the air-sea flux of CO2 resulting from ocean surface temperature gradients

Ward, B., R. Wanninkhof, W.R. McGillis, A.T. Jessup, M.D. DeGrandpre, J.E. Hare, and J.B. Edson, "Biases in the air-sea flux of CO2 resulting from ocean surface temperature gradients," J. Geophys. Res., 109, 10.1029/2003JC001800, 2004.

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30 Jun 2004

The difference in the fugacities of CO2 across the diffusive sublayer at the ocean surface is the driving force behind the air-sea flux of CO2. Bulk seawater fugacity is normally measured several meters below the surface, while the fugacity at the water surface, assumed to be in equilibrium with the atmosphere, is measured several meters above the surface. Implied in these measurements is that the fugacity values are the same as those across the diffusive boundary layer. However, temperature gradients exist at the interface due to molecular transfer processes, resulting in a cool surface temperature, known as the skin effect. A warm layer from solar radiation can also result in a heterogeneous temperature profile within the upper few meters of the ocean. Here we describe measurements carried out during a 14-day study in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (GasEx-2001) aimed at estimating the gradients of CO2 near the surface and resulting flux anomalies. The fugacity measurements were corrected for temperature effects using data from the ship's thermosalinograph, a high-resolution profiler (SkinDeEP), an infrared radiometer (CIRIMS), and several point measurements at different depths on various platforms. Results from SkinDeEP show that the largest cool skin and warm layer biases occur at low winds, with maximum biases of ~4% and +4%, respectively. Time series ship data show an average CO2 flux cool skin retardation of about 2%. Ship and drifter data show significant CO2 flux enhancement due to the warm layer, with maximums occurring in the afternoon. Temperature measurements were compared to predictions based on available cool skin parameterizations to predict the skin-bulk temperature difference, along with a warm layer model.

Coherent structures beneath wind waves and their influence on air-water gas transfer

Siddiqui, M.H.K., M.R. Loewen, W.E. Asher, and A.T. Jessup, "Coherent structures beneath wind waves and their influence on air-water gas transfer," J. Geophys. Res., 109, C03024, 10.1029/2002JC001559, 2004.

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17 Mar 2004

Coherent structures generated beneath laboratory wind waves were investigated using particle image velocimetry. An algorithm was developed to detect these structures and to determine their size, vorticity, and kinetic energy. As the wind speed increased from 4.5 to 11.0 m s-1, the maximum vorticity of the coherent structures increased by 40%, their average size increased by 20%, their frequency of occurrence increased 400%, and the fraction of the water surface renewed by coherent structures increased from 0.12 to 0.33. Distributions of the total kinetic energy of the coherent structures as a function of size showed that the most energetic eddies occurred in the size range 0.8–1.6 cm in diameter. The near-surface flow could be divided into areas with one of two distinct characteristics: energetic regions occupied by coherent structures and quiescent regions largely devoid of coherent structures. A surface renewal model for air-water exchange was used to calculate the local transfer velocity in both types of regions. The model predicted that the gas transfer velocities in the energetic regions were 2.8 times larger than in the quiescent regions and that 60% of the total air-water gas flux occurred across the energetic regions at all wind speeds. In addition, the rate of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation was ~2.5 times higher in the energetic regions compared to the quiescent regions at all wind speeds.

The Miami2001 infrared radiometer calibration and intercomparison. Part II: Shipboard results

Barton, I.J., P.J. Minnett, K.A. Maillet, C.J. Donlon, S.J. Hook, A.T. Jessup, and T.J. Nightingale, "The Miami2001 infrared radiometer calibration and intercomparison. Part II: Shipboard results," J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 21, 268-283, 2004.

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1 Feb 2004

The second calibration and intercomparison of infrared radiometers (Miami2001) was held at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) during a workshop held from May to June 2001. The radiometers targeted in these two campaigns (laboratory-based and at-sea measurements) are those used to validate the skin sea surface temperatures and land surface temperatures derived from the measurements of imaging radiometers on earth observation satellites. These satellite instruments include those on currently operational satellites and others that will be launched within two years following the workshop. The experimental campaigns were completed in one week and included laboratory measurements using blackbody calibration targets characterized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and an intercomparison of the radiometers on a short cruise on board the R/V F. G. Walton Smith in Gulf Stream waters off the eastern coast of Florida. This paper reports on the results obtained from the shipborne measurements.

Seven radiometers were mounted alongside each other on the R/V Walton Smith for an intercomparison under seagoing conditions. The ship results confirm that all radiometers are suitable for the validation of land surface temperature, and the majority are able to provide high quality data for the more difficult validation of satellite-derived sea surface temperature, contributing less than 0.1 K to the error budget of the validation. The measurements provided by two prototype instruments developed for ship-of-opportunity use confirmed their potential to provide regular reliable data for satellite-derived SST validation. Four high quality radiometers showed agreements within 0.05 K confirming that these instruments are suitable for detailed studies of the dynamics of air–sea interaction at the ocean surface as well as providing high quality validation data. The data analysis confirms the importance of including an accurate correction for reflected sky radiance when using infrared radiometers to measure SST. The results presented here also show the value of regular intercomparisons of ground-based instruments that are to be used for the validation of satellite-derived data products—products that will be an essential component of future assessments of climate change and variability.

Effect of microscale wave breaking on air-water gas transfer

Zappa, C.J., W.E. Asher, and A.T. Jessup, "Effect of microscale wave breaking on air-water gas transfer," in Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, edited by M.A. Donelan, W.M. Drennan, E.S. Saltzman, and R. Wanninkhof, 23-30 (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 2002).

1 Jun 2002

Turbulence generated by microscale breaking waves and its influence on air-water gas transfer

Siddiqui, M.H.K., M.R. Loewen, C. Richardson, W.E. Asher, and A.T. Jessup, "Turbulence generated by microscale breaking waves and its influence on air-water gas transfer," in Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, edited by M.A. Donelan, W.M. Drennan, E.S. Saltzman, and R. Wanninkhof, 11-16 (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 2002).

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1 Jun 2002

The results from a series of wind-wave flume experiments using simultaneous DPIV (digital particle image velocimetry) measurements and IR (infrared) imagery to investigate microscale breaking waves are presented. We show that the IR signatures of microscale breaking waves are produced by a series of strong vortices that form behind the leading edge of the breakers. These strong vortices disrupt the cool skin layer and generated a thin layer of enhanced turbulence immediately below the air-water interface. In addition we used CFT (controlled flux technique) to make measurements of the local heat transfer velocity and found that the transfer velocity was correlated with the near-surface vertical turbulent velocity. We conclude that near-surface turbulence generated by microscale wave breaking determines the transfer rate at low to moderate wind speeds.

Simultaneous particle image velocimetry and infrared imagery of microscale breaking waves

Siddiqui, M.H.K., M.R. Loewen, C. Richardson, W.E. Asher, and A.T. Jessup, "Simultaneous particle image velocimetry and infrared imagery of microscale breaking waves," Phys. Fluids, 13, 1891-1903, 2001.

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1 Jul 2001

We report the results from a laboratory investigation in which microscale breaking waves were detected using an infrared (IR) imager and two-dimensional (2-D) velocity fields were simultaneously measured using particle image velocimetry (PIV). In addition, the local heat transfer velocity was measured using the controlled flux technique. To the best of our knowledge these are the first measurements of the instantaneous 2-D velocity fields generated beneath microscale breaking waves. Careful measurements of the water surface profile enabled us to make accurate estimates of the near-surface velocities using PIV. Previous experiments have shown that behind the leading edge of a microscale breaker the cool skin layer is disrupted creating a thermal signature in the IR image [Jessup et al., J. Geophys. Res. 102, 23145 (1997)]. The simultaneously sampled IR images and PIV data enabled us to show that these disruptions or wakes are typically produced by a series of vortices that form behind the leading edge of the breaker. When the vortices are first formed they are very strong and coherent but as time passes, and they move from the crest region to the back face of the wave, they become weaker and less coherent. The near-surface vorticity was correlated with both the fractional area coverage of microscale breaking waves and the local heat transfer velocity. The strong correlations provide convincing evidence that the wakes produced by microscale breaking waves are regions of high near-surface vorticity that are in turn responsible for enhancing air–water heat transfer rates.

Microscale wave breaking and air-water gas transfer

Zappa, C.J., W.E. Asher, and A.T. Jessup, "Microscale wave breaking and air-water gas transfer," J. Geophys. Res., 106, 9385-9391, doi:10.1029/2000JC000262, 2001.

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15 May 2001

Laboratory results showing that the air-water gas transfer velocity k is correlated with mean square wave slope have been cited as evidence that a wave-related mechanism regulates k at low to moderate wind speeds [Jähne et al., 1987; Bock et al., 1999]. Csanady [1990] has modeled the effect of microscale wave breaking on air-water gas transfer with the result that k is proportional to the fractional surface area covered by surface renewal generated during the breaking process. In this report we investigate the role of microscale wave breaking in gas transfer by determining the correlation between k and AB , the fractional area coverage of microscale breaking waves. Simultaneous, colocated infrared (IR) and wave slope imagery is used to verify that AB detected using IR techniques corresponds to the fraction of surface area covered by surface renewal in the wakes of microscale breaking waves. Using measurements of k and AB made at the University of Washington wind-wave tank at wind speeds from 4.6 to 10.7 m s-1, we show that k is linearly correlated with AB, regardless of the presence of surfactants. This result is consistent with Csanady's [1990] model and implies that microscale wave breaking is likely a fundamental physical mechanism contributing to gas transfer.


Lighter-than-Air Visible and Infrared Imaging SYstem for Persistent Surveillance

Record of Invention Number: 8283D

Andy Jessup, Dan Clark


4 Feb 2009

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center