Microelectrode Velocity Effects and Aquatic Eddy Covariance Measurements under Waves Public Deposited

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  • Interest in validating the eddy covariance (EC) technique under wave-induced flows led to a series of experiments in a 104-m-long large wave flume (LWF) using an acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV) and two oxygen microelectrodes (tips ~2 mm apart) mounted on a sturdy tripod. Four additional ADVs positioned within the flume provided comparative near-bed velocity measurements during experiments with irregular waves over a sand bed. These measurements revealed that modifications of local turbulence by the tripod frame were insignificant. However, errors in velocity measurements were at times observed for setups where the microelectrode tips protruded into the ADV’s measurement volume. Disparate oxygen microelectrode velocity effects (stirring sensitivities) combined with response time offsets were also identified as problems, adding biases to EC flux derivations. Microelectrode velocity effects were further investigated through modeling designed to mimic the LWF data, and through examination of a 12-h dataset from the Oregon shelf. The modeling showed that under progressive waves, an artificial EC flux, or bias, arises most severely when the velocity sensitivity of the microelectrode is unequal in opposing flow directions or augmented by horizontal currents, and the velocity and oxygen data are not perfectly aligned in time. Sensitivities to wave motions were seen in the oxygen measurements from the Oregon shelf, contributing to an average flux of +2.7 ± 0.6 mmol m⁻² day⁻¹ (SE, n = 22) at wave frequencies. Since overall EC fluxes equaled only −4.1 ± 1.8 mmol m⁻² day⁻¹ (SE, n = 22), sources of EC biasing coupled to waves cannot be ruled out as potential problems for estimating exact benthic oxygen fluxes under common continental shelf field conditions.
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  • Reimers, C. E., Özkan-Haller, H. T., Albright, A. T., & Berg, P. (2016). Microelectrode velocity effects and aquatic eddy covariance measurements under waves. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 33(2), 263-282. doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0041.1
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  • 33
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  • 2
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  • This research was supported under NSF Grant OCE-1061218 to CER and HTO, and OCE-1061364 and OCE-1334848 to PB.
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