The Long Term Evolution and Coupling of the Boundary Layers Study (referred to as the Stratus
Project) is an effort to obtain a reliable multi-year dataset of meteorological and subsurface
measurements beneath the stratus cloud deck off the coast of Chile and Peru. This data will
improve our understanding of the role of clouds in ocean-atmosphere coupling. This project is
part of the Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate (EPIC), a NOAA-funded Climate Variability
During the Stratus 2002 cruise, a surface mooring that had been deployed for one year off the
coast of Chile was recovered, and a new surface mooring was deployed in the same location.
The 2002 deployment starts the final year of a three-year occupation of the site by a Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) mooring as part of the Enhanced Monitoring element of
EPIC. The occupation of the site will be continued under the NOAA Climate Observations
Program, with the mooring serving as a Surface Reference Site.
The Stratus buoys were equipped with surface meteorological instrumentation, mainly two
Improved METeorological (IMET) systems. The moorings also carried subsurface equipment
attached to the mooring line, which measured conductivity, temperature, current direction and
velocity, chlorophyll-a, and rainfall.
The moorings were recovered and deployed by the Upper Ocean Processes Group of WHOI
from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s R/V Melville. In collaboration with investigators
from the Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOA) and the University of
Concepcion, Chile, conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) profiles were obtained at the
mooring site and along 20°S while steaming east from the mooring site.