Fratantoni David M.

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David M.

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  • Technical Report
    EcoMapper operations---KN209-1
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2012-12) Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Fratantoni, David M.
    This report describes the collection of water property data from EcoMapper AUVs during the R/V Knorr 209-1 cruise as part of the SPURS (Salinity Processes Upper-ocean Regional Study) project. Post-processing was required to improve the quality of the raw data, particularly salinity, and is documented herein. Initial results from temperature and salinity records are presented. The measurements are concentrated in the upper 10 meters of the mixed layer during calm conditions, and reveal significant diurnal warming (up to 3°C) and salinification (up to 0.1 psu) of the surface (< 1 meter) layer. The mixing promoted by the motion of the research vessel destroys this shallow stratification, so the ability of the AUVs to sample undisturbed water hundreds of meters from the ship was critical to the effort of accurately resolving it.
  • Article
    AUV observations of the diurnal surface layer in the North Atlantic salinity maximum
    (American Meteorological Society, 2014-06) Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Fratantoni, David M.
    Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) surveys of temperature, salinity, and velocity in the upper 10 m of the ocean were carried out in low-wind conditions near the North Atlantic surface salinity maximum as part of the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) project. Starting from a well-mixed state, the development, deepening, and decay of a warm salty diurnal surface layer was observed at <1-h resolution. The evaporation rate deduced from the freshwater anomaly of the layer corroborates measurements at a nearby flux mooring. Profiles within a few hundred meters of the stationary research vessel showed evidence of mixing, highlighting the effectiveness of AUVs for collecting uncontaminated time series of near-surface thermohaline structure. A two-dimensional horizontal subsurface survey within the diurnal warm layer revealed coherent warm and cool bands, which are interpreted as internal waves on the diurnal thermocline.
  • Technical Report
    OC449-09 Data Report : St. Thomas, USVI to Bermuda, December 1-10, 2008
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2009-10) Kirincich, Anthony R. ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Bahr, Frank B.
    Data collected during multiple surveys of hydrography, velocity, and biological quantities are presented from a 9-day cruise aboard the R/V Oceanus near the island of St. Thomas, USVI and a subsequent transit to Bermuda during December, 2008. This cruise (OC449-09) was undertaken primarily to field test a newly acquired towed-undulating body, the Scanfish. The Scanfish and a second towed body, the Video Plankton Recorder (VPR), were used to survey hydrographic, optical, and biological properties north and south of St. Thomas. Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) casts and plankton net-tows were made at locations along the survey transects for inter-comparison. The VPR was also used to profile conditions between St. Thomas and Bermuda during transit. An overview of the cruise is given along with descriptions of the data collection methods, processing steps taken, and data products available for distribution.
  • 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.
  • Technical Report
    CLIMODE bobber data report : July 2005 - May 2009
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2010-03) Fratantoni, David M. ; McKee, Theresa K. ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Furey, Heather H. ; Lund, John M.
    This report summarizes direct observations of Eighteen Degree Water (EDW) subduction and dispersal within the subtropical gyre of the North Atlantic Ocean. Forty acoustically-tracked bobbing, profiling floats (“bobbers”) were deployed to study the formation and dispersal of EDW in the western North Atlantic. The unique bobber dataset described herein provides insight into the evolution of EDW by means of direct, eddy-resolving measurement of EDW Lagrangian dispersal pathways and stratification. Bobbers are modified Autonomous Profiling Explorer (APEX) profiling floats which actively servo their buoyancy control mechanism to follow a particular isothermal surface. The CLIVAR Mode Water Dynamics Experiment (CLIMODE) bobbers tracked the 18.5°C temperature surface for 3 days, then bobbed quickly between the 17°C and 19°C isotherms. This cycle was repeated for one month, after which each bobber profiled to 1000 m before ascending to the surface to transmit data. The resulting dataset (37/40 tracked bobbers; more than half still profiling as of January 2010) yields well-resolved trajectories, unprecedented velocity statistics in the core of the subducting and spreading EDW, and detailed information about the Lagrangian evolution of EDW thickness and vertical structure. This report provides an overview of the experimental procedure employed and summarizes the initial processing of the bobber dataset.
  • 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
    A thin layer of phytoplankton observed in the Philippine Sea with a synthetic moored array of autonomous gliders
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-10-23) Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Fratantoni, David M.
    A synthetic moored array composed of five buoyancy-propelled autonomous underwater gliders was used to characterize mesoscale variability and phytoplankton distribution in a 100 km × 100 km domain in the Philippine Sea east of Luzon Strait for 10 days in May 2004. The study area, located east of the Kuroshio near the subtropical front, is dominated by strong internal tides, by energetic westward-propagating mesoscale eddies with azimuthal velocities exceeding 50 cm/s, and by a deep (130 m) maximum in chlorophyll fluorescence. Each glider in the array was instructed to maintain geographic position while repeatedly profiling to 200-m depth. Good station-keeping performance enabled the resulting series of vertical profiles to be interpreted in the same manner as a physically moored chain of instruments. Although organized primarily as a demonstration of glider capabilities, this field exercise provides a unique data set for examining biological-physical interactions in the open ocean. Here we report on the evolution of a thin layer of phytoplankton observed near the deep chlorophyll maximum. Coincident observations of fine structure in temperature and salinity suggest that the thinning process of this layer was driven primarily by physical forcing, most probably vertical shear associated with energetic diurnal internal waves, as opposed to a biological mechanism, such as convergent swimming, grazing, or spatial variation in growth rate.