Low-Frequency Ocean Bottom Pressure Variations in the North Pacific in Response to Time-Variable Surface Winds

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Henryk Dobslaw1, Christof Petrick1, Inga Bergmann-Wolf1, Katja Bettina Matthes2 and Maik Thomas1, (1)Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany, (2)GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany
One decade of time-variable gravity field observations from the GRACE satellite mission reveals low-frequency ocean bottom pressure (OBP) variability of up to 2.5 hPa centered at the northern flank of the subtropical gyre in the North Pacific. From a 145 year-long simulation with a coupled chemistry climate model, OBP variability is found to be related to the prevailing atmospheric sea-level pressure and surface wind conditions in the larger North Pacific area. The dominating atmospheric pressure patterns obtained from the climate model run allow in combination with ERA-Interim sea-level pressure and surface winds a reconstruction of the OBP variability in the North Pacific from atmospheric model data only, which correlates favourably (r=0.7) with GRACE ocean bottom pressure observations. The regression results indicate that GRACE-based OBP observations are indeed sensitive to changes in the prevailing sea-level pressure and thus surface wind conditions in the North Pacific, thereby opening opportunities to constrain atmospheric models from satellite gravity observations over the oceans.