SPURS cruise ends

Research vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa

Research vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa

The R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa arrived to Ponta Delgada, Azores, on April 12, and R/V Endeavor is expected to be at Narragansett a few days later. The SPURS spring 2013 cruise is finished and both vessels have achieved the collection of an impressive amount of high resolution oceanographic data, as well as the deployment of several autonomous sampling devices. The SPURS blog (Cruises, SPURS-March 2013) has reported several aspects of the work done. It has been one month of intensive sampling of the high salinity region in the central convergence of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. The data we have recorded will contribute understanding how this maximum is formed and sustained.

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The SPURS-MIDAS cruise

The Spanish in-situ contribution to the international SPURS (Salinity Processes in the Upper ocean Regional Study) experiment is taking place on board the R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa from March 16, 2013. A team of scientists from SMOS-BEC, plus other researchers and technicians from ICM and UTM-CSIC Barcelona, NUI Galway, LOCEAN Paris, LDEO-U. Columbia New York and U. Vigo are performing a wide range of mesoscale and submesoscale measurements to contribute understanding the mechanisms of formation and permanence of the largest ocean salinity maximum in the centre of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Several standard and prototype instruments are used in measuring sea surface salinity and other ocean variables.

Underway near-surface salinity along Sarmiento de Gamboa track from the Canary Islands to the SPURS site (figure: O. Hernandez, LOCEAN)

Underway near-surface salinity along Sarmiento de Gamboa track from the Canary Islands to the SPURS site (figure: O. Hernandez, LOCEAN)

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SMOS in the SPURS experiment

SPURS CARTOON

SPURS field experiment. Click on image to enlarge

The SPURS-MIDAS cruise (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 16 March 2013 – Ponta Delgada, Açores 17 April) on board the Spanish R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa is a contribution to the SPURS experiment (Salinity Processes in the Upper ocean Regional Study) aimed at understanding the processes that drive the upper ocean dynamics and the role that salinity plays on them in the area of maximum salinity in the center of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. The experiment is coordinated by WHOI (R. Schmitt) and sponsored by NASA (E. Lindstrom), and includes intensive field work with a large variety of state-of-the-art instrumentation, the use of satellite remotely sensed salinity information (Aquarius and SMOS), as well as dedicated numerical modeling. The SMOS BEC team is one of the participants in SPURS where it will contribute with in situ data acquisition, processing and mapping SMOS salinity data, and a regional implementation of the NEMO model with assimilative and process-based simulations to complement and analyze the processes suggested by the observations.

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