A Surface Mooring for Air–Sea Interaction Research in the Gulf Stream. Part II: Analysis of the Observations and Their Accuracies Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Abstract A surface mooring was deployed in the Gulf Stream for 15 months to investigate the role of air–sea interaction in mode water formation and other processes. The accuracies of the near-surface meteorological and oceanographic measurements are investigated. In addition, the impacts of these measurement errors on the estimation and study of the air–sea fluxes in the Gulf Stream are discussed. Pre- and postdeployment calibrations together with in situ comparison between shipboard and moored sensors supported the identification of biases due to sensor drifts, sensor electronics, and calibration errors. A postdeployment field study was used to further investigate the performance of the wind sensors. The use of redundant sensor sets not only supported the filling of data gaps but also allowed an examination of the contribution of random errors. Air–sea fluxes were also analyzed and computed from both Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) bulk parameterization and using direct covariance measurements. The basic conclusion is that the surface buoy deployed in the Gulf Stream to support air–sea interaction research was successful, providing an improved 15-month record of surface meteorology, upper-ocean variability, and air–sea fluxes with known accuracies. At the same time, the coincident deployment of mean meteorological and turbulent flux sensors proved to be a successful strategy to certify the validity of the bulk formula fluxes over the midrange of wind speeds and to support further work to address the present shortcomings of the bulk formula methods at the low and high wind speeds.

publication date

  • March 1, 2013