Ethan Campbell, 2016, Geosciences

I worked with AOS graduate student Joe Majkut in Professor Jorge Sarmiento’s group this summer. My goal was to answer the following question: How accurately can one reconstruct real-world ocean biogeochemical fields by inverting the sparse and noisy data from the 3600 Argo profiling floats scattered within the world’s oceans? I investigated this uncertainty by simulating Argo measurements at the positions of actual floats using output from a high-resolution climate model, then reconstructing the model fields via a simple interpolation scheme. Comparing the original and reconstructed fields produced estimates of reconstruction error across different ocean basins; correlating that reconstruction error with metrics such as density of floats and type of float enabled further inference. Overall, the results affirm the Argo array’s ability to capture large-scale fields where floats are present. This project gave me a valuable glimpse into scientific computing and earth science research, the latter of which has convinced me to major in geosciences and consider research as a career path.