The Sarmiento will be in the SPURS site together with the US R/V Endeavor in a coordinated program to continue the SPURS field work initiated by the French R/V Thalassa (STRASSE cruise, August-September 2012) and US R/V Knorr (September-October 2012). The main role of our cruise is to run first a general survey for mesoscale mapping of the area by means of TSG, ADCP and undulating CTD (SeaSoar) while the Endeavor is arriving to the site and servicing the moorings and gliders deployed in the September cruise. On the same time we will deploy a total of 48 surface salinity drifters. After this initial survey the Sarmiento will participate in submesoscale high resolution specific samplings, as well as performing turbulence measurements (ASIP profiler) and a combined CTD stations-SeaSoar sampling for mixed-layer depth evolution studies. Additional opportunity measurements will be done to collect water and plankton samples for chemical and biological objectives from Spanish researchers not belonging to the SMOS-BEC team.
As in previous field studies (Malaspina 2010-2011, STRASSE 2012) we will deploy drifters designed and built by our team to help improving the SMOS products validation by measuring salinity at 50 cm below the sea surface. The SPURS area has the advantage of being quite stable and at the same time displaying the highest salinity values worldwide in open oceans, so that it provides one of the best opportunities for SMOS validation.
SPURS will also be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the usefulness of SMOS salinity determinations in ocean dynamics studies.