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.