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Proceedings on 15th Symposium on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for the Atmosphere,

Oceans and Land Surface (IOAS-AOLS), American Meteorological Society, 23-27 January 2011, Seattle 1001

Determination of Ocean Mixed Layer Depth


from Profile Data
Peter C. Chu and Chenwu Fan
than in the mixed layer due to strong salinity
stratification isolates the constant-
AbstractVertically quasi-uniform layer of temperature
(T, isothermal layer) and density (, mixed layer) usually
exists in upper oceans. The thickness of the mixed layer density water from cool thermocline water. However,
determines the heat content and mechanical inertia of the ILD may be thinner than MLD when negative salinity
layer that directly interacts with the atmosphere. Existing stratification compensates for positive temperature
methods for determining mixed layer depth from profile stratification (or the reverse situation) to form a
data have large uncertainty. Objective and accurate
determination of the mixed layer depth is crucial in ocean
compensated layer (CL) (Stommel and Fedorov, 1967;
dynamics and climate change. This paper describes recently Weller and Plueddemann, 1996). The compensated layer
developed optimal linear fitting, maximum angle, and thickness (CLT) is defined by CLT = HD - HT.
relative gradient methods to determine mixed layer depth Occurrence of BL and CL affects the ocean heat and salt
from profile data. Profiles from the Global Temperature budgets and the heat exchange with the atmosphere, and
and Salinity Profile Program (GTSPP) during 1990-2010 in turn influences the climate change.
are used to demonstrate the capability of these objective Objective and accurate identification of HT and
methods and to build up global mixed (isothermal) layer HD is the key to successfully determining the BL or CL.
depth datasets. Application of the data in climate study is However, three existing types of criteria (on the base of
also discussed.
difference, gradient, and curvature) to determine HT and
Key WordsMixed layer depth, isothermal depth, HD are either subjective or inaccurate. The difference
difference criterion, gradient criterion, curvature criterion, criterion requires the deviation of T (or ) from its near
optimal linear fitting method, maximum angle method, surface (i.e., reference level) value to be smaller than a
relative gradient method, GTSPP, global mixed layer certain fixed value. The gradient criterion requires T/ z
depth, global isothermal layer depth, barrier layer, (or / z) to be smaller than a certain fixed value. The
compensated layer curvature criterion requires 2T/ z2 (or 2/z2) to be
maximum at the base of mixed layer (z = -HD).
1. Introduction Obviously, the difference and gradient criteria are
subjective. For example, the criterion for determining HT
Transfer of mass, momentum, and energy across the for temperature varies from 0.8oC (Kara et al., 2000),
bases of surface isothermal layer and constant-density 0.5oC (Wyrtki, 1964) to 0.2oC (de Boyer Montegut et al.,
layer (usually called mixed layer) provides the source for 2007). The reference level changes from near surface
almost all oceanic motions. Underneath the mixed and (Wyrtki, 1964) to 10 m depth (de Boyer Montegut et al.,
isothermal layers, there exist layers with strong vertical 2007). Defant (1961) was among the first to use the
gradient such as the pycnocline and thermocline. The gradient method. He uses a gradient of 0.015oC/m to
constant-density (or isothemal) layer depth is an determine HT for temperature of the Atlantic Ocean;
important parameter which largely affects the evolution while Lukas and Lindstrom (1991) used 0.025oC/m. The
of the sea surface temperature (SST), and in turn the curvature criterion is an objective method (Chu et al,
climate change. 1997, 1999, 2000; Lorbacher et al., 2006); but is hard to
The isothermal layer depth (ILD, HT) is not use for profile data with noise (even small), which will
necessarily identical to the mixed layer depth (MLD, HD) be explained in Section 5. Thus, it is urgent to develop a
due to salinity stratification. There are areas of the World simple objective method for determining mixed layer
Ocean where HT is deeper than HD (Lindstrom et al., depth with capability of handling noisy data.
1987; Chu et al., 2002; de Boyer Montegut et al., 2007). In this study, we use several recently developed
The layer difference between HD and HT is defined as the objective methods to establish global (HD, HT ) dataset
barrier layer (BL), which has strong salinity stratification from the Global Temperature and Salinity Profile
and weak (or neutral) temperature stratification (Fig. 1). Program (GTSPP) during 1990-2010. The quality indices
The barrier layer thickness (BLT) is often referred to the for these methods are approximately 96% (100% for
difference, BLT = HT - HD. Less turbulence in the BL perfect determination). The results demonstrate the
existence and variability of (BL, CL).

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The outline of this paper is as follows. Section 2 be available. That is, GTSPP participants will permit the
describes the GTSPP data. Section 3 shows the large selection of data from their archives based on quality
uncertainty of the existing methods. Section 4 presents flags as well as other criteria. These flags are always
the methodology. Section 5 shows the comparison to the included with any data transfers that take place. Because
existing objective method (i.e., the curvature method). the flags are always included, and because of the policy
Section 6 presents the quality index for validation. regarding changes to data, as described later, a user can
Section 7 shows the global (HD, HT) dataset calculated expect the participants to disseminate data at any stage of
from the GTSPP profile data (1990-2010). In Section 8 processing. Furthermore, GTSPP participants have
we present the conclusions. agreed to retain copies of the data as originally received
and to make these available to the user if requested
2. GTSPP (GTSPP Working Group, 2010).

The following information was obtained from the


website of the International Oceanographic Commission
of UNESCO (IODE) http://www.iode.org/. GTSPP is a
cooperative international project. It seeks to develop and
maintain a global ocean Temperature-Salinity resource
with data that are both up-to-date and of the highest
quality possible. Making global measurements of ocean
temperature and salinity (T-S) quickly and easily
accessible to users is the primary goal of the GTSPP.
Both real-time data transmitted over the Global
Telecommunications System (GTS), and delayed-mode
data received by the NODC are acquired and
incorporated into a continuously managed database. .
Countries contributing to the project are Australia, Fig. 1. The number of stations reported as BATHYs and
Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United TESACs (from Sun, 2008).
States. Canada's Marine Environmental Data Service
(MEDS) leads the project, and has the operational
responsibility to gather and process the real-time data.
MEDS accumulates real-time data from several sources
via the GTS. They check the data for several types of
errors, and remove duplicate copies of the same
observation before passing the data on to NODC. The
quality control procedures used in GTSPP were
developed by MEDS, who also coordinated the
publication of those procedures through the
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Fig. 2. World-wide distribution of Argo floats (from the
The GTSPP handles all temperature and salinity website: http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/).
profile data. This includes observations collected using
water samplers, continuous profiling instruments such as 3. Large Uncertainty of the Existing Methods
CTDs, thermistor chain data and observations acquired
using thermosalinographs. These data will reach data As pointed in the introduction section, the criteria for
processing centres of the Program through the real-time the difference and gradient methods are subjective. For
channels of the IGOSS program or in delayed mode the difference method, the criterion changes from 0.2oC
through the IODE system. Real-time data in GTSPP are (Thompson, 1976, Crieterion-1) for the North Pacific,
acquired from the Global Telecommunications System 0.5oC (Wyrtki, 1964; Obata et al., 1996, Crieterion-2) for
in the bathythermal (BATHY) and temperature, salinity the global oceans, 0.8oC (Kara et al., 2000, Crieterion-3)
& current (TESAC) codes forms supported by the for the global oceans, to 1.0oC (Rao et al., 1989,
Crieterion-4) for the Indian Ocean. Four datasets of
WMO. Delayed mode data are contributed directly by
mixed layer depth were obtained from the GTSPP
member states of IOC (Sun, 2008). Fig. 1 shows
temperature profiles using these criteria. The probability
increasing of observational stations especially the
density functions (PDF) for the four datasets (Fig. 3)
TESAC due to input of Argo floats (Fig. 2).
show large difference. The root-mean square difference
The GTSPP went through quality control procedures
(RMSD) between Criterion-i and Criterion-j is calculated
that make extensive use of flags to indicate data quality.
by
To make full use of this effort, participants of the GTSPP
have agreed that data access based on quality flags will

1002
1003
1
(h )
N
2
RMSD(i , j ) = hn Recently, Chu and Fan (2010a, b) developed several
(i ) ( j)
n
.
N n =1 objective methods for identify (HD, HT): optimal linear
The relative RMSD (RRMSD) between Criterion-i and fitting, maximum angle, and relative gradient. Among
Criterion-j is calculated by them, the first two methods are used for analyzing high
(less than 5 m) resolution profiles and the third one is
RRMSD(i , j ) = 2 * RMSD(i , j ) /( H T + H T ) ,
(i ) ( j) suitable for analyzing low (greater than 5 m) resolution
profiles.
(i ) ( j)
where H T and H T are the mean isothermal layer depth 4.1. Optimal Linear Fitting (OLF) Method
using Criterion-i and Criterion-j. The RMSD has a
minimum value of 43 m between Criterion-2 (0.5oC) and We use temperature profile as example for illustration.
Criterion-3 (0.8oC) and a maximum value of 109 m For detailed information, please see Chu and Fan
between Criterion-1 (0.2oC) and Criterion-4 (1.0oC). (2010a). Assume a temperature profile which can be
Such a large uncertainty makes the difference method represented by [T(zi)]. A linear polynomial is used to fit
less credible in determine the mixed layer depth from the the profile data from the first point near the surface (z1)
profile data. to a depth, zk (marked by a circle in Fig. 3). The original
Similarly, the gradient method also uses various and fitted data are represented by (T1, T2, , Tk) and
criterion such as 0.015oC/m (Defant, 1961) and ( T1 , T2 ,..., Tk ), respectively. The root-mean square error
0.025oC/m (Lukas and Lindstrom, 1991). The RMSD E1 is calculated by
between the two is around 70 m.

1 k

E1 ( k ) =
k
(T T )
i i
2
. (1)
i =1

The next step is to select n data points (n << k) from the


depth zk downward: Tk+1, Tk+2, Tk+n. A small number n
is used because below the mixed layer temperature has
large vertical gradient and because our purpose is to
identify if zk is at the mixed layer depth. The linear
polynomial for data points (z1, z2, , zk) is extrapolated
into the depths (zk+1, zk+2, , zk+n): Tk +1 , Tk + 2 ,..., Tk + n .
The bias of the linear fitting for the n points is calculated
by
1 n
Bias(k ) = (Tk + j Tk + j ) . (2)
n j =1

If the depth zk is inside the mixed layer (Fig. 3a), the


Fig. 1. PDF of the isothermal depth determined by the linear polynomial fitting is well representative for the
difference method using different criterion: (a) 0.2oC, (b) data points (z1, z2, , zk+n). The absolute value of the
0.5oC, (c) 0.8oC, and (d) 1.0oC.
bias,
Table-1. RMSD and RRMSD between two different
criterion using the difference method. E2(k)= |Bias(k)|, (3)
Between RMSD (m) RRMSD
Criteria for the lowest n points are usually smaller than E1 since
(1,2) 51 0.82 differences between observed and fitted data for the
lowest n points may cancel each other. If the depth zk is
(1,3) 74 1.09
located at the base of the mixed layer, E2(k) is large and
(1,4) 109 1.49
E1(k) is small (Fig. 3b). If the depth zk is located below at
(2,3) 43 0.57
the base of the mixed layer (Fig. 3c), both E1(k) and
(2,4) 88 1.08 E2(k) are large. Thus, the criterion for determining the
(3,4) 71 0.81 mixed layer depth can be described as

4. Recently Developed Objective E2 ( zk )


Determination of MLD and ILD max, H T = zk , (4)
E1 ( zk )

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1004
used as optimization to determine the mixed (or
which is called the optimal linear fitting (OLF) method. isothermal) layer depth,
The OLF method is based on the notion that there exists
a near-surface quasi-homogeneous layer in which the k max, H D = zk .
standard deviation of the property (temperature, salinity,
or density) about its vertical mean is close to zero. Below
In practical, the angle k is hard to calculate. We use tan
the depth of HT, the property variance should increase
k instead, i.e.,
rapidly about the vertical mean.
30

tan k max, H D = zk . (7)


Linear Polynomial

40

50 (1) (2)
With the given fitting coefficients Gk , Gk , the value

Linear Polynomial
of tan k can be easily calculated by
k
Depth(m)

ial
60
k+1

Linear Polynom
k+2
k+3
k+4
70

Gk Gk
k (2) (1)
k+1

tan k = . (8)
k+2
80 k+3

1 + Gk Gk
k+4
Bias k+1
k (1) (2)
k+2
k+3
90 k+4
Bias

24 24.5 25 25.5 26 24 24.5 25 25.5 26 24 24.5 25 25.5 26


temperature (C) temperature (C) temperature (C)

Inside ML At ML Depth Below ML


Small Largest Small
Fig. 3. Illustration of the optimal linear fitting (OLF) 55

method: (a) zk is inside the mixed layer (small E1 and E2),


(b) zk at the mixed layer depth (small E1 and large E2), and
60

Vector1
(c) zk below the mixed layer depth (large E1 and E2) (after 65

Vector1
Chu and Fan, 2010a).
70

Vec

Vec
tor
tor
Depth(m)


4.2. Maximum Angle Method 75

1
2

Ve
ct

or
2
Ve
80 cto
r
We use density profile as example for illustration. Let
2

density profiles be represented by [(zk)]. The density


85

profile is taken for illustration of the new methodology. 90

A first vector (A1, downward positive) is constructed 95

with linear polynomial fitting of the profile data from


1024.5 1025 1024.5 1025 1024.5 1025
Density (kg/m3) Density (kg/m3) Density (kg/m3)

zk-m to a depth, zk (marked by a circle in Fig. 4) (m < k). Fig. 4. Illustration of the method: (a) zk is inside the mixed
A second vector (A2, pointing downward also) from one layer (small ), (b) zk at the mixed layer depth (largest ),
point below that depth (i.e., zk+1) is constructed to a and (c) zk below the mixed layer depth (small ) (after Chu
and Fan, 2010b).
deeper level with the same number of observational
points as the first vector (i.e., from zk+1 to zk+m). The
dual- linear fitting can be represented by
5. Comparison to the Existing Objective
c k + Gk z , z = z k m , zk m +1 ,... zk
(1) (1)

( z) = { , (5)
Method
c k + Gk z , z = zk +1 ,... z k + m
(2) (2)

The existing objective method is the curvature


(1) (2) (1) (2)
criterion, which requires 2T/ z2 (or 2/z2) to be
where ck , ck , Gk , Gk are the fitting coefficients. minimum (maximum) at the base of mixed layer. We
For high resolution (around 1 m), we set compare the maximum angle method to the curvature
method as an example. To illustrate the superiority of the
10, for k > 10 recently developed methods, an analytical temperature
m ={ . (6) profile with ILD of 20 m is constructed by
k 1, for k 10

21o C, -20 m < z 0 m
Since the vertical gradient has great change at the
constant-density (isothermal) layer depth, the angle k T ( z ) = 21o C + 0.25o C ( z + 20 m), -40 m < z -20 m
z + 40 m
reaches its maximum value if the chosen depth (zk) is the 7oC + 9o C exp , -100 m z -40 m.
mixed layer depth (see Fig. 4a), and smaller if the chosen 50 m
depth zk is inside (Fig. 4b) or outside (Fig. 4c) of the
mixed layer. Thus, the maximum angle principle can be (9)

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1005
This profile was discretized with vertical resolution of 1 each depth. The isothermal depth is 9 m (error of 11 m)
m from the surface to 10 m depth and of 5 m below 10 m using the curvature method (Fig. 6b) and 20 m (no error)
depth. The discrete profile was smoothed by 5-point using the maximum angle method. Usually, the
moving average in order to remove the sharp change of curvature method requires smoothing for noisy data
the gradient at 20 m and 40 m depths. The smoothed (Chu, 1999; Lorbacher et al., 2006). To evaluate the
profile data [T(zk)] is shown in Fig. 5a. usefulness of smoothing, a 5-point moving average was
applied to the 1000 contaminated profile data. For the
The second-order derivatives of T(zk) versus depth is
profile data (Fig. 6a) after smoothing, the second
computed by nonhomogeneous mesh difference scheme,
derivatives were calculated for each depth (Fig. 6c). The
isothermal depth was identified as 8 m. Performance
T
2
1 Tk +1 Tk Tk Tk 1 for the curvature method (with and without smoothing)
zk
, (10) and the maximum angle method is determined by the
z zk +1 z k 1 zk +1 zk z k zk 1
2
relative root-mean square error (RRMSE),
Here, k = 1 refers to the surface, with increasing values
indicating downward extension of the measurement. 1 1 N

Eq.(10) shows that we need two neighboring values, Tk-1


RRMSE =
HT
ac
N
(H (i )
T
HT ) ,
ac 2
(12)
i =1
and Tk+1, to compute the second-order derivative at zk .
For the surface and 100 m depth, we use the next point where H Tac (= 20 m) is the ILD for the original
value, that is, temperature profile (Fig. 7a); N (= 1000) is the number
of contaminated profiles; and H T( i ) is the calculated
T T T T
2 2 2 2

= , = . (11) ILD for the i-th profile. Without 5-point moving


z =0 z =1 m z =100 m z =95 m
z z z z
2 2 2 2
average, the curvature method identified only 6 profiles
(out of 1000 profiles) with ILD of 20 m, and the rest
Fig. 5b shows the calculated second-order derivatives profiles with ILDs ranging relatively evenly from 1 m to
from the profile data shown in Fig. 5a. Similarly, tan k is 10 m. The RRMSE is 76%. With 5-point moving
calculated using Eq.(8) for the same data profile (Fig. average, the curvature method identified 413 profiles
5c). For the profile data without noise, both curvature with ILD of 20 m, 164 profiles with ILD of 15 m, 3
method (i.e., depth with minimum 2T/z2, see Fig. 5b) profiles with ILD of 10 m, and the rest profiles with
and maximum angle method [i.e., depth with max (tan ), ILDs ranging relatively evenly from 2 m to 8 m. The
see Fig. 5c)] have the capability to identify the ILD, i.e., RRMSE is 50%. However, without 5-point moving
HT = 20 m. average, the maximum angle method identified 987
profiles with ILD of 20 m, and 13 profiles with ILD of
0
Without Noise Curvature Method Maximum Angle Method
15 m. The RRMSE is less than 3%.
10

With Noise (=0.02 C) Curvature Method Smoothed Curvature Method Maximum Angle Method
20 0

30 10

40 20
Depth (m)

50 30

60 40
Depth (m)

70 50

80 60

90 70

100 80
5 10 15 20 25
0.03 0.02 0.01 0 0.01
0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3
Temperature (C) Second Derivative (C/m2) tan
90

100

Fig. 5. (a) Smoothed analytic temperature profile (6) by 5-


5 10 15 20 0.1
25 0.05 0 0.05 0.03
0.1 0.02 0.01 0 0.01
0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3
Temperature (C) Second Derivative (C/m )
2 2
Second Derivative (C/m ) tan

point moving average, calculated (b) (2T/z2)k, and (c) (tan


)k from the profile data (Fig. 5a). At 20 m depth, (2T/z2)k Fig. 6. One out of 1000 realizations: (a) temperature profile
has a minimum value, and (tan )k has a maximum value shown in Fig. 7a contaminated by random noise with mean
(after Chu and Fan 2010b). of zero and standard deviation of 0.02oC, (b) calculated
(2T/z2)k from the profile data (Fig. 8a) without smoothing,
Random noises with mean of zero and standard (c) calculated (2T/z2)k from the smoothed profile data
deviation of 0.02oC (generated by MATLAB) are added (Fig. 6a) with 5-point moving average, and (d) calculated
to the original profile data at each depth for 1000 times. (tan )k from the profile data (Fig. 6a) without smoothing
After this process, 1000 sets of temperature profiles were (after Chu and Fan, 2010b).
produced. Among them, one temperature profile data is
shown in Fig.6a. For this particular profile, the second- 6. Quality Index for Validation
order derivatives (2T/z2) and tan were calculated at

1005
1006
Lorbacher et al. (2006) proposed a quality index (QI) Fig. 7. Atlantic Ocean (January): (a) calculated isothermal
for determining HD (similar for HT), layer depth (m), and (b) quality index.

rmsd ( k k ) |( H , H
Jul (212185 Profiles) with Mean Qulity Index: 0.966
80 400
)
QI = 1 1 D
, (13) 380

rmsd ( k k ) |( H ,1.5 H ) 60
360
1 D 340

which is one minus the ratio of the root-mean square 320


300
difference (rmsd) between the observed to fitted
40
280

temperature in the depth range from the surface to HD to 260

Mixed Layer Depth (m)


20

that in the depth of 1.5 HD. HD is well defined if QI >


240
220

Latitude
0.8; can be determined with uncertainty for QI in the 0 200
180
range of 0.5-0.8; and cant be identified for QI < 0.5. For 160

the curvature criterion, QI above 0.7 for 70% of the 20 140


120
profile data, including conductivity-temperature-depth 40 100

and expendable bathythermograph data obtained during 80

World Ocean Circulation Experiment (Lorbacher et al.,


60
60 40

2006). 20
0
80 60 40 20 0 20
1
7. Global (HD, HT) Dataset 80
0.98

60 0.96

The global (HD, HT) dataset has been established from 0.94

the GTSPP (T, S) profiles using the recently developed 40 0.92

objective methods (optimal linear fitting, maximum 0.9

mix
angle, and relative gradient). The quality index (QI) is

of h
20 0.88

mix
computed for each profile using (13). To show the

Latitude
0.86

Qulity Index QI
0
seasonal variability, the global (HD, HT) data were binned 0.84

by month and averaged in 2o 2o grid cells. The overall


0.82
20
0.8
value of the quality index is around 0.95 (Figs. 7-12) 0.78
much higher than the curvature method reported by 40
0.76
Lorbacher et al. (2006). 0.74
60
Jan (187730 Profiles) with Mean Qulity Index: 0.949
400 0.72
80
380 0.7
360 80 60 40 20 0 20
60 Longitude
340
320 Fig. 8. Atlantic Ocean (July): (a) calculated isothermal
300
40
280 layer depth (m), and (b) quality index.
260
Mixed Layer Depth (m)

20 240
220
Latitude

0 200
180
160
20 140
120

40 100
80
60
60 40
20
0
80 60 40 20 0 20
80 1

0.98

60 0.96

0.94

40 0.92

0.9
Qulity Index QImix of hmix

20 0.88
Latitude

0.86
0
0.84

0.82
20
0.8

0.78
40
0.76

0.74
60
0.72

0.7
80 60 40 20 0 20
Longitude

1006
1007
Jan (215506 Profiles) with Mean Qulity Index: 0.978
400 are listed as follows: (a) Procedure is totally objective
60 380
360 without any initial guess (no iteration); and (b) No any
40
340
320 differentiations (first or second) are calculated for the
20
300
280
profile data. The calculated (HD, HT) are ready to use for
260
various studies such as the global distribution of barrier

Mixed Layer Depth (m)


240
Latitude 0 220
200
and compensated layers, heat content in the surface
20
180
160
isothermal layer ( heat source for exchange with the
140
120
atmosphere), and impact on climate change.
40 100
80
60

Acknowledgments
60
40
20
0
120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280
1
60
0.98 The Office of Naval Research, the Naval
40
0.96

0.94
Oceanographic Office, and the Naval Postgraduate
0.92 School supported this study. We thank DR. Charles Sun
20 0.9
at NOAA/NODC for providing GTSPP profile data.

Qulity Index QImix of hmix


0.88
Latitude

0 0.86

0.84

20 0.82

0.8

40 0.78

0.76

60 0.74

0.72

0.7
120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280
Longitude

Fig. 9. Pacific Ocean (January): (a) calculated isothermal Jan (HR: 5559 Profiles) with Mean Qulity Index: 0.95
400
380
layer depth (m), and (b) quality index. 20 360
340
Jul (253202 Profiles) with Mean Qulity Index: 0.977 10 320
400
300
60 380 0 280

Mixed Layer Depth (m)


360 260
340 10 240
40

Latitude
320 220
20 200
300
180
280 30
20 160
260
Mixed Layer Depth (m)

140
240 40
120
220 100
Latitude

0
50
200 80

180 60
60
40
20 160
20
140 70
0
120 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
40 1
100
0.98
80 20
60 0.96
60
40 10 0.94
20 0.92
0
0

Qulity Index QImix of hmix


120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 0.9
1 10 0.88
Latitude

60 0.86
0.98 20
0.84
0.96
30 0.82
40 0.94
0.8
40
0.92
0.78
20 0.9 50
mix

0.76
of h

0.88 0.74
60
mix
Latitude

0 0.86 0.72
Qulity Index QI

70
0.84 0.7
20 40 60 80 100 120 140
Longitude
20 0.82

0.8 Fig. 11. Indian Ocean (January): (a) calculated isothermal


40 0.78
layer depth (m), and (b) quality index.
0.76

60 0.74

0.72

0.7
120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280
Longitude

Fig. 10. Pacific Ocean (July): (a) calculated isothermal


layer depth (m), and (b) quality index.

8. Conclusions

In this paper, we established global mixed (isothermal)


layer data set using recently developed objective
methods with high quality indices (optimal linear fitting,
maximum angle). Several advantages of this approach

1007
1008
Jul (HR: 6520 Profiles) with Mean Qulity Index: 0.962
400 GTSPP Workin Group, 2010: GTSPP Real-Time Quality
Control Manual. IOC Manual and Guides 22, pp. 148.
380
20 360
340
10 320
300
Kara, A. B., P.A. Rochford, and H. E. Hurlburt, 2000:
0 280
Mixed layer depth variability and barrier layer formation

Mixed Layer Depth (m)


260

Latitude
10 240
220
over the north Pacific Ocean. J. Geophys. Res., 105,
16783-16801.
20 200
180
30

Lindstrom, E., R. Lukas, R. Fine, E. Firing, S. Godfrey,


160
140
40

G. Meyeyers, and M. Tsuchiya, 1987: The western


120
100
50
80

60
60
40
Equatorial Pacific ocean circulation study. Nature, 330,
70
20
0
533-537.
Lorbacher, K., Dommenget, D., Niiler, P.P., Kohl, A.
20 40 60 80 100 120 140
1

0.98
20
0.96 2006. Ocean mixed layer depth: A subsurface proxy of
10 0.94

0.92
ocean-atmosphere variability. J. Geophys. Res., 11,
C07010, doi:10.1029/2003JC002157.
0

Qulity Index QImix of hmix


0.9
10
Lukas and Lindstrom, 1991: The mixed layer of the
0.88
Latitude

0.86
20

30
0.84

0.82
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Sun, L.C., 2008: GTSPP Bi-Annual Report for 2007
0.78
50
0.76

60 0.74

0.72
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70
20 40 60 80 100 120 140
0.7 http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/GTSPP/document/reports/GT
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Fig. 12. Indian Ocean (July): (a) calculated isothermal
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