SOFAR float Mediterranean outflow experiment data from the second year, 1985-86 Report uri icon


  • In October, 1984, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution SOFAR float group began a three-year-long field program to observe the low frequency currents in the Canary Basin. The principal scientific goal was to learn how advection and diffusion by these currents determine the shape and amplitude of the Mediterranean salt tongue. Fourteen floats were launched at a depth of 1100 min a cluster centered on 32°N, 24°W, and seven other floats were launched incoherently along a north/south line from 24°N to 37°N. At the same time investigators from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Rhode Island used four other SOFAR floats to tag a Meddy, a submesoscale lens of Mediterranean water. In October, 1985, seven additional floats were launched, four in three different Meddies, one of which was tracked during year 1. This report describes the second year of the floats launched in 1984 and the first year of the ones launched in 1985. Approximately 41 years of float trajectories were produced during the first two years of the experiment. One of the striking accomplishments is the successful tracking of one Meddy over two full years plus the tracking of two other Meddies during the second year.

publication date

  • 1988