Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) Application to Oceanography

Gregory Sinnett1, Kristen A Davis1, Andrew J. Lucas2, Sarah N Giddings3, Emma Catherine Reid1 and Madeleine Harvey4, (1)University of California Irvine, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Irvine, CA, United States, (2)University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States, (3)University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States, (4)Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, United States
Modern Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems are capable of resolving temperature along a fiber-optic cable at a broad range of scales, from seconds to months and meters to kilometers. Observations spanning such a range of scales are difficult to obtain, thereby limiting our understanding of many ocean processes. Recently, DTS observations have captured nearshore internal wave evolution, estuarine exchange flow, and small-scale alongshore variability over the inner-shelf with temporal and spatial resolution previously attainable only in the lab or simulation. However, DTS application to oceanography is relatively new and largely untested. Here, new observations from two different DTS instruments and three different fiber-optic cable types are used to characterize how DTS data can be applied in an oceanographic setting. This experiment addresses choices involving DTS instrument configuration and calibration, data processing, and cable deployment - all factors affecting data quality and ability to resolve fast and small scale oceanographic processes. We demonstrate how DTS instruments may be optimally applied to observing nearshore oceanographic processes across a wide range of scales.