AUV observations of the diurnal surface layer in the North Atlantic salinity maximum

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Hodges, Benjamin A.
Fratantoni, David M.
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Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena
Surface layer
Observational techniques and algorithms
In situ oceanic observations
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.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 1595–1604, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0140.1.
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Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 1595–1604
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