Riser Stephen C.

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Stephen C.

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  • Article
    Salinity and temperature balances at the SPURS central mooring during fall and winter
    (The Oceanography Society, 2015-03) Farrar, J. Thomas ; Rainville, Luc ; Plueddemann, Albert J. ; Kessler, William S. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Schmitt, Raymond W. ; Edson, James B. ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Eriksen, Charles C. ; Fratantoni, David M.
    One part of the Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS) field campaign focused on understanding the physical processes affecting the evolution of upper-ocean salinity in the region of climatological maximum sea surface salinity in the subtropical North Atlantic (SPURS-1). An upper-ocean salinity budget provides a useful framework for increasing this understanding. The SPURS-1 program included a central heavily instrumented mooring for making accurate measurements of air-sea surface fluxes, as well as other moorings, Argo floats, and gliders that together formed a dense observational array. Data from this array are used to estimate terms in the upper-ocean salinity and heat budgets during the SPURS-1 campaign, with a focus on the first several months (October 2012 to February 2013) when the surface mixed layer was becoming deeper, fresher, and cooler. Specifically, we examine the salinity and temperature balances for an upper-ocean mixed layer, defined as the layer where the density is within 0.4 kg m–3 of its surface value. The gross features of the evolution of upper-ocean salinity and temperature during this fall/winter season are explained by a combination of evaporation and precipitation at the sea surface, horizontal transport of heat and salt by mixed-layer currents, and vertical entrainment of fresher, cooler fluid into the layer as it deepened. While all of these processes were important in the observed seasonal (fall) freshening at this location in the salinity-maximum region, the variability of salinity on monthly-to-intraseasonal time scales resulted primarily from horizontal advection.
  • Article
    Autonomous multi-platform observations during the Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study
    (Oceanography Society, 2017-06) Lindstrom, Eric ; Shcherbina, Andrey Y. ; Rainville, Luc ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Dong, Shenfu ; D'Asaro, Eric A. ; Eriksen, Charles C. ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Hormann, Verena ; Kessler, William S. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Riser, Stephen C. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Volkov, Denis L.
    The Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS) aims to understand the patterns and variability of sea surface salinity. In order to capture the wide range of spatial and temporal scales associated with processes controlling salinity in the upper ocean, research vessels delivered autonomous instruments to remote sites, one in the North Atlantic and one in the Eastern Pacific. Instruments sampled for one complete annual cycle at each of these two sites, which are subject to contrasting atmospheric forcing. The SPURS field programs coordinated sampling from many different platforms, using a mix of Lagrangian and Eulerian approaches. This article discusses the motivations, implementation, and first results of the SPURS-1 and SPURS-2 programs.
  • Article
    Northern Arabian Sea Circulation-Autonomous Research (NASCar) : a research initiative based on autonomous sensors
    (Oceanography Society, 2017-06) Centurioni, Luca R. ; Hormann, Verena ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Arzeno, Isabella B. ; Beal, Lisa M. ; Caruso, Michael J. ; Conry, Patrick ; Echols, Rosalind ; Fernando, Harindra J. S. ; Giddings, Sarah N. ; Gordon, Arnold L. ; Graber, Hans C. ; Harcourt, Ramsey R. ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Jensen, Tommy G. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Lermusiaux, Pierre F. J. ; L’Hegaret, Pierre ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; McClean, Julie L. ; Pawlak, Geno ; Rainville, Luc ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Seo, Hyodae ; Shcherbina, Andrey Y. ; Skyllingstad, Eric D. ; Sprintall, Janet ; Subrahmanyam, Bulusu ; Terrill, Eric ; Todd, Robert E. ; Trott, Corinne ; Ulloa, Hugo N. ; Wang, He
    The Arabian Sea circulation is forced by strong monsoonal winds and is characterized by vigorous seasonally reversing currents, extreme differences in sea surface salinity, localized substantial upwelling, and widespread submesoscale thermohaline structures. Its complicated sea surface temperature patterns are important for the onset and evolution of the Asian monsoon. This article describes a program that aims to elucidate the role of upper-ocean processes and atmospheric feedbacks in setting the sea surface temperature properties of the region. The wide range of spatial and temporal scales and the difficulty of accessing much of the region with ships due to piracy motivated a novel approach based on state-of-the-art autonomous ocean sensors and platforms. The extensive data set that is being collected, combined with numerical models and remote sensing data, confirms the role of planetary waves in the reversal of the Somali Current system. These data also document the fast response of the upper equatorial ocean to monsoon winds through changes in temperature and salinity and the connectivity of the surface currents across the northern Indian Ocean. New observations of thermohaline interleaving structures and mixing in setting the surface temperature properties of the northern Arabian Sea are also discussed.