Ocean front detection with glider and satellite-derived sst data in the southern california current system

Frank C. Olaya, Reginaldo Durazo, Vera Oerder, Enric Pallàs-Sanz, Joaquim P. Bento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study proposes a method to detect ocean fronts from in situ temperature and density glider measurements. This method is applied to data collected along the CalCOFI Line 90, south of the California Current System (CCS), over the 2006–2013 period. It is based on image-processing techniques commonly applied to sea surface temperature (SST) satellite data. Front detection results using glider data are consistent with those obtained in other studies carried out in the CCS. SST images of the Multi-scale Ultra-high Resolution (MUR) dataset were also used to compare the probability of occurrence or front frequency (FF) obtained with the two datasets. Glider and MUR temperatures are highly correlated. Along Line 90, frontal frequency exhibited the same maxima near the transition zone (~130 km offshore) as derived from MUR and glider datasets. However, marked differences were found in the bimonthly FF probability with high (low) front frequency in spring-summer for glider (MUR) data. Methodological differences explaining these contrasting results are investigated. Thermohaline-compensated fronts are more abundant towards the oceanic zone, although most fronts are detected using both temperature and density criteria, indicating a significant contribution of temperature to density in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5032
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • California current system
  • Glider
  • MUR
  • Ocean fronts
  • SST


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