Physical Oceanography, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2009
EXPERIMENTAL AND FIELD RESEARCH
CREATION OF THE DATABASE OF MONITORING OF THE BLACK SEA
BY USING DRIFTERS
Yu. B. Ratner, A. P. Tolstosheev, A. L. Kholod, and S. V. Motyzhev
We consider some specific features of creation of the database according to the results of drifter
experiments carried out in the Black Sea in 2001–2006. The general statistical information on all
buoy studies in the sea is presented. The criteria used to filter the primary data are suggested.
The principles of formation and structuring of the drifter database are presented. As an example,
we describe the procedure and the results of comparison of model estimates with the data of con-
tact measurements of the sea-surface temperature by drifting buoys.
The variations of climate and the closely related problem of reliable weather forecasting explain the neces-
sity of systematic monitoring of the processes running in the upper layer of the ocean and surface layers of the
atmosphere. Drifter technologies represent an integral part of the contemporary system of operative observations
in the ocean. The autonomous drifting platforms for data collection (drifters) with equipment for satellite com-
munications prove to be one of the most efficient tools for the investigation of the upper layer of the ocean and
the surface layer of the atmosphere.
In the Black-Sea region, the drifter experiments carried out the last decade became one of the main sources
of systematic contact operative information on the state of the upper layer of the open sea and the surface layer
of the atmosphere. By 2007, the total duration of operation of the drifters was larger than
h. For this pe-
riod of time, the researchers obtained representative data arrays of the sea-surface temperature, temperature pro-
files in the upper layer of the sea, atmospheric pressure, and surface currents with a resolution of
despite obvious advantages of the drifter monitoring, the application of its results for the comprehensive subse-
quent analysis with adequate response to the variations of the ambient medium remains inefficient. This is ex-
plained by the absence of formalized, according to the contemporary requirements, drifter data arrays and, hence,
by the restricted access of users to the accumulated data. In the present work, we describe the main results ob-
tained in the course of systematization of the data of drifter monitoring of the Black Sea and development of the
procedures of processing the drifter data with an aim of creation of the drifter database and its export to the oce-
anological database. As an example, we consider the application of the drifter data for the evaluation of the re-
sults of model diagnostics of the sea-surface temperature (SST).
General Information on the Drifter Experiment Carried Out in the Black Sea in 2001–2006
The drifter experiment was carried in the Black Sea in 2001–2006 out within the framework of the Black-
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
50–68, May–June, 2009. Original article submitted January 21, 2008;
revision submitted April 11, 2008.
170 0928-5105/09/1903–0170 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.