Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Science

Committee Chair

Vladimir Kamenkovich

Committee Chair Department

Marine Science

Committee Member 2

Dmitri Netchev

Committee Member 3

Chris Dehaan


Accurately modeling the depth of the surface mixed layer in the lee of the Hawaiian Islands is important to naval operations because the area hosts numerous training exercises. Providing an accurate picture of the environment aids naval operators in making important tactical decisions. This study evaluates the ability of the Hawaii Regional Navy Coastal Ocean Model to accurately predict the depth of the surface mixed layer in this complex, wake island environment. The model was compared to CTD data collected from sea gliders and tests for correlation were conducted. For mixed layer depths that did show correlation, match paired t tests were used to determine the significance of the correlations. It was determined that the Hawaii Regional Navy Coastal Ocean Model has difficulty accurately predicting the depth of the surface mixed layer, however, it does show considerable skill when compared to the results of alternate models. It was also determined that the model has difficulty with unusual oceanographic features such as mode water eddies. These features are too uncommon and short-lived to be depicted in the climatology data. This climatology data is a major component of the synthetic profiles that the model generates and these profiles tend to smooth out the unusual subsurface isothermal layer.