Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-129
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-129

  24 Jan 2020

24 Jan 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal OS and is expected to appear here in due course.

Can seafloor voltage cables be used to study large-scale circulation? An investigation in the Pacific Ocean

Neesha R. Schnepf1,2, Manoj C. Nair1,2, Jakub Velímský3, and Natalie P. Thomas4 Neesha R. Schnepf et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2National Centers for Environmental Information, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic
  • 4Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Abstract. Marine electromagnetic (EM) signals largely depend on three factors: flow velocity, Earth's main magnetic field, and seawater's electrical conductivity (which depends on the local temperature and salinity). Because of this, there has been recent interest in using marine EM signals to monitor and study ocean circulation. Our study utilizes voltage data from retired seafloor telecommunication cables in the Pacific Ocean to examine whether such cables could be used to monitor circulation velocity or transport on large-oceanic scales. We process the cable data to isolate the seasonal and monthly variations, and evaluate the correlation between the processed data and numerical predictions of the electric field induced by ocean circulation. We find that the correlation between cable voltage data and numerical predictions strongly depends on both the strength and coherence of the velocities flowing across the cable, as well as the length of the cable. The cable within the Kuroshio Current had the highest correlation between data and predictions, whereas two of the cables in the Eastern Pacific gyre – a region with both low flow speeds and interfering velocity directions across the cable – did not have any clear correlation between data and predictions. Meanwhile, a third cable also located in the Eastern Pacific gyre had modest correlation between data and predictions – although the cable is very long and the speeds were low, it was located in a region of coherent flow velocity across the cable. While much improvement is needed before utilizing seafloor voltage cables to study and monitor oceanic circulation across wide regions, we believe that with additional work, the answer to our title's question may eventually be yes.

Neesha R. Schnepf et al.

 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Neesha R. Schnepf et al.

Neesha R. Schnepf et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 422 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
281 96 45 422 52 51
  • HTML: 281
  • PDF: 96
  • XML: 45
  • Total: 422
  • BibTeX: 52
  • EndNote: 51
Views and downloads (calculated since 24 Jan 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 24 Jan 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 318 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 318 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 27 Jan 2021
Download
Short summary
Marine electromagnetic (EM) signals largely depend on three factors: 1) the direction and speed of ocean flow, 2) the strength of Earth’s main magnetic field, and 3) seawater’s electrical conductivity (which depends on the local temperature and salinity). Because of this, there is interest in using marine EM signals to monitor and study ocean circulation. Our study investigates using voltage data from retired seafloor telecommunication cables in the Pacific Ocean to monitor large-scale flows.