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Open AccessArticle

Assessing the Impact of Tides and Atmospheric Fronts on Submesoscale Physical and Bio-Optical Distributions near a Coastal Convergence Zone

1
Ocean Sciences Division, US Naval Research Laboratory, Code 7300, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529, USA
2
Remote Sensing Division, US Naval Research Laboratory, Code 7200, Washington, DC 20375, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(3), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12030553 (registering DOI)
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synergy of Remote Sensing and Modelling Techniques for Ocean Studies)
Optically-active constituents vary over short time and space scales in coastal waters, and they are impacted by a variety of complex, inter-related forcing processes. As part of the Integrated Coastal Bio-Optical Dynamics (ICoBOD) project, we conducted a field campaign in Mississippi Sound in the northern Gulf of Mexico during spring 2018 to examine the impact of the passage of atmospheric and tidal fronts on fine-scale physical and bio-optical property distributions in a shallow, dynamic, coastal environment. During a 25-day experiment, we deployed eight moorings over a roughly 7 × 7 km box encompassing a frontal zone, to collect a time series of physical and bio-optical measurements. We describe changes in diver visibility related to the passage of a short-duration, high-turbidity surface plume and nepheloid layer development/decay during a tidal cycle. Maximum nepheloid layer development was observed during low tide and lasted about 9–12 h. The strongest turbidity signal extended about 4–5 m above the bottom (approximately half of the water column), although anomalously elevated values were observed all the way to the surface. In addition, high-resolution (50 m) hydrodynamic model simulations provide insight into the frontal dynamics and aid interpretation of the observed patterns. Mooring observations confirmed model-predicted heat flux changes associated with the passage of an atmospheric cold front. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal; bio-optics; hydrodynamic modeling; remote sensing; circulation; currents; tides; winds; bio-physical interactions; time series coastal; bio-optics; hydrodynamic modeling; remote sensing; circulation; currents; tides; winds; bio-physical interactions; time series
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Gould, R.W., Jr.; Anderson, S.; Lewis, M.D.; Miller, W.D.; Shulman, I.; Smith, G.B.; Smith, T.A.; Wang, D.W.; Wijesekera, H.W. Assessing the Impact of Tides and Atmospheric Fronts on Submesoscale Physical and Bio-Optical Distributions near a Coastal Convergence Zone. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 553.

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