McKee Theresa K.

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McKee
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Theresa K.
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Technical Report

Site L SOFAR float experiment, 1982-1985

1987-12 , Price, James F. , McKee, Theresa K. , Owens, W. Brechner , Valdes, James R.

Lagrangian measurements of low frequency currents in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream and its recirculation region in the western Sargasso Sea were made by tracking SOFAR floats. These floats were tracked using acoustic time of arrival information from an array of five Autonomous Listening Stations {ALSs) which were moored in the western Sargasso Sea. The ALSs performed almost flawlessly, returning over 90 percent of the possible data. Floats were released in three deployments of seven floats each in November 1982, February 1983, and June 1983. The floats were launched in initially coherent arrays (approximately 20 km spacing) at 34°N, 70°W, Site "L", and were ballasted for 700 m depth. The SOFAR floats themselves functioned with somewhat less than expected reliability; four floats failed fairly soon after launch, and several other floats suffered failures of their temperature and pressure telemetry. The majority of the SOFAR floats launched in this program produced long, and interesting trajectories. These new data will be valuable for estimating first order flow statistics in the dynamically important recirculation region, for visualizing interactions between the Gulf Stream and the New England Seamount Chain, and for estimating one and two particle diffusivities in a region of very high eddy energy.

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Technical Report

SOFAR float Mediterranean outflow experiment data from the first year, 1984-1985

1986-07 , Price, James F. , McKee, Theresa K. , Valdes, James R. , Richardson, Philip L. , Armi, Laurence

In October, 1984, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution SOFAR float group began a three-year long field program to observe the low frequency currents in the Canary Basin. The principal scientific goal was to learn how advection and diffusion by these currents determine the shape and amplitude of the Mediterranean salt tongue. Fourteen floats were launched at a depth of 1100 min a cluster centered on 32N, 24W, and seven other floats were launched incoherently along a north/south line from 24N to 37N. At the same time investigators from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Rhode Island used four other SOFAR floats to tag a submesoscale lens of Mediterranean water. Slightly over twenty years of float trajectories were p reduced during the first year of the experiment. In this report we briefly describe the 1984 field operations and show the first year's SOFAR float data. Perhaps the most striking result is that westward flow within the Mediterranean salt tongue was found to be confined to a rather narrow jet {roughly 150 km in meridional extent) which had a mean speed of roughly 2 em s -l. To the north or south of this jet the mean flow was much weaker and eastward. This suggests that currents associated with the salt tongue itself {rather than the gyre scale circulation) may be most important for determining the salt distribution.