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Backtracking drifting objects using surface currents from high-frequency (HF) radar technology

Abstract: In this work, the benefits of high-frequency (HF) radar ocean observation technology for backtracking drifting objects are analysed. The HF radar performance is evaluated by comparison of trajectories between drifter buoys versus numerical simulations using a Lagrangian trajectory model. High-resolution currents measured by a coastal HF radar network combined with atmospheric fields provided by numerical models are used to backtrack the trajectory of two dataset of surface-drifting buoys: group I (with drogue) and group II (without drogue). A methodology based on optimization methods is applied to estimate the uncertainty in the trajectory simulations and to optimize the search area of the backtracked positions. The results show that, to backtrack the trajectory of the buoys in group II, both currents and wind fields were required. However, wind fields could be practically discarded when simulating the trajectories of group I. In this case, the optimal backtracked trajectories were obtained using only HF radar currents as forcing. Based on the radar availability data, two periods ranging between 8 and 10 h were selected to backtrack the buoy trajectories. The root mean squared error (RMSE) was found to be 1.01 km for group I and 0.82 km for group II. Taking into account these values, a search area was calculated using circles of RMSE radii, obtaining 3.2 and 2.11 km 2 for groups I and II, respectively. These results show the positive contribution of HF radar currents for backtracking drifting objects and demonstrate that these data combined with atmospheric models are of value to perform backtracking analysis of drifting objects.

 Autoría: Abascal A.J., Castanedo S., Fernández V., Medina R.,

 Fuente: Ocean Dynamics Volume 62, Issue 7, July 2012, Pages 1073-1089

 Editorial: Springer

 Fecha de publicación: 01/05/2012

 Nº de páginas: 17

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1007/s10236-012-0546-4

 ISSN: 1616-7341,1616-7228

 Proyecto español: PSE-310000-2009-03

 Url de la publicación: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10236-012-0546-4