The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Hawaii Ocean Timeseries Site
(WHOTS), 100 km north of Oahu, Hawaii, is intended to provide long-term, high-quality air-sea
fluxes as a part of the NOAA Climate Observation Program. The WHOTS mooring also serves
as a coordinated part of the Hawaiian Ocean Timeseries (HOT) program, contributing to the
goals of observing heat, fresh water and chemical fluxes at a site representative of the
oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean. The approach is to maintain a surface mooring outfitted for
meteorological and oceanographic measurements at a site near 22.75°N, 158°W by successive
mooring turnarounds. These observations will be used to investigate air–sea interaction processes
related to climate variability.
The first WHOTS mooring (WHOTS-1) was deployed in August 2004. Turnaround cruises for
successive moorings (WHOTS-2 through WHOTS-5) have typically been in either June or July.
This report documents recovery of the WHOTS-5 mooring and deployment of the sixth mooring
(WHOTS-6). The moorings utilize Surlyn foam buoys as the surface element and are outfitted
with two Air–Sea Interaction Meteorology (ASIMET) systems. Each ASIMET system measures,
records, and transmits via Argos satellite the surface meteorological variables necessary to
compute air–sea fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum. The upper 155 m of the mooring is
outfitted with oceanographic sensors for the measurement of temperature, conductivity and
velocity in a cooperative effort with R. Lukas of the University of Hawaii (UH). A pCO2 system
is installed on the buoy in a cooperative effort with Chris Sabine at the Pacific Marine
Environmental Laboratory. Dr. Frank Bradley, CSIRO, Australia, assisted with meteorological
sensor comparisons. A NOAA “Teacher at Sea” and a NOAA “Teacher in the Lab” participated
in the cruise.
The WHOTS mooring turnaround was done on the University of Hawaii research vessel
Kilo Moana, Cruise KM-09-16, by the Upper Ocean Processes Group of the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution in cooperation with UH and NOAA’s Earth System Research
Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division (ESRL/PSD). The cruise took place between 9 and 17
July 2009. Operations began with deployment of the WHOTS-6 mooring on 10 July at
approximately 22°40.0'N, 157°57.0'W in 4758 m of water. This was followed by meteorological
intercomparisons and CTDs at the WHOTS-6 and WHOTS-5 sites. The WHOTS-5 mooring was
recovered on 15 July 2009. The Kilo Moana then moved to the HOT central site (22°45.0'N,
158°00.0'W) for CTD casts. This report describes the cruise operations in more detail, as well as
some of the in-port operations and pre-cruise buoy preparations.