A new method is presented to process and correct full-depth current velocity data obtained from a lowered acoustic Doppler current profiler (LADCP). The analysis shows that, except near the surface, the echo intensity of a reflected sound pulse is closely correlated with the magnitude of the difference in vertical shear of velocity between downcast and upcast, indicating an error in velocity shear. The present method features the use of echo intensity for the correction of velocity shear. The correction values are determined as to fit LADCP velocity to shipboard ADCP (SADCP) and LADCP bottom-tracked velocities. The method is as follows. Initially, a profile of velocity relative to the sea surface is obtained by integrating vertical shears of velocity after low-quality data are rejected. Second, the relative velocity is fitted to the velocity at 100–800 dbar measured by SADCP to obtain an “absolute” velocity profile. Third, the velocity shear is corrected using the relationship between the errors in velocity shears and echo intensity, in order to adjust the velocity at sea bottom to the bottom-tracked velocity measured by LADCP. Finally, the velocity profile is obtained from the SADCP-fitted velocity at depths less than 800 dbar and the corrected velocity shear at depths greater than 800 dbar. This method is valid for a full-depth LADCP cast throughout which the echo intensity is relatively high (greater than 75 dB in the present analysis). Although the processed velocity may include errors of 1–2 cm s−1, this method produced qualitatively good current structures in the Northeast Pacific Basin that were consistent with the deep current structures inferred from silicate distribution, and the averaged velocities were significantly different from those calculated by the Visbeck (2002) method.
Correction method LADCP current velocity echo intensity North Pacific