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Adriatic Circulation Experiment — Mesoscale Dynamics and Response to Strong Atmospheric Forcing
Summary Feb 2003 Field Report June 2003 Field Report Science Party

enlarge photo TriSoarus: More Info»
Senior Oceanographer Craig Lee leads an international science team aboard the R/V Knorr for two 20+-day cruises in the Adriatic Sea. The Adriatic provides a unique laboratory in which oceanographers can study the ocean's response to atmospheric forcing at small (10 km) lateral scales and investigate the processes that communicate atmospheric forcing events (seasonal winds and freshwater flows) to the ocean interior.

The winter to spring climate cycle over the northern Adriatic Sea produces three dramatically different wind, stratification, and outflow regimes:

• Bora-downwelling-favorable winds, weak ambient stratification
• Sirocco-upwelling-favorable winds, weak ambient stratification
• Strong Po River outflow, downwelling-favorable winds, stratified waters

Adriatic Sea Survery Locations
enlarge photo Survey Locations»
The measurements taken during the two cruises (January and May 2003) will provide the observations needed for a quantitative assessment of the dynamics governing response in each of these three regimes.

Sampling will focus on quantifying the response of mesoscale fronts and filaments to strong atmospheric forcing at small (10 km) lateral scales generated by Bora wind outbreaks. A combination of real-time satellite remote sensing (AVHRR and SeaWiFS) and synoptic meteorological forecasts will allow the science team to tailor sampling strategies to specific features and atmospheric events, deploying observational resources in the right places and at the right times to capture response to short-lived forcing events. Shipboard ADCP, meteorological sensors, and especially the TriSoarus towed profiling vehicle will be used. Additionally, the team will employ a bio-optical profiling package (USC), a bottom-moored ADCP and the SWAMP microstructure profiler (Univ. of Miami), and a variety of surface drifters (OGS-Trieste). Scientists from IRPEM will analyze water samples for nutrient content and pigment concentrations.

Cruise progress can be followed in the FIELD REPORTS.

Details of the research objectives, observation strategies, equipment deployed, and planned analyses are available in the complete RESEARCH PROPOSAL.

Criag Lee's work in the Adriatic Sea is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.

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