Researchers

James Girton

Principal Oceanographer

OPD Department

APL-UW

Affiliate Assistant Professor, Oceanography

Jim Thomson

Senior Principal Oceanographer

AIRS Department

APL-UW

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Alex de Klerk

Field Engineer II

AIRS Department

APL-UW

Avery Snyder

Field Engineer II

OPD Department

APL-UW

Ryan Newell

Physical Oceanographer 2

OPD Department

APL-UW

Joe Talbert

Field Engineer II

AIRS Department

APL-UW

Funding

NSF

Wave Glider Observations in the Southern Ocean

Motivation

Plan

Southern Ocean climate change is at the heart of the ocean's response to anthropogenic forcing. Variations in South Polar atmospheric circulation patterns, fluctuations in the strength and position of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, and the intertwining intermediate deep water cells of the oceanic meridional overturning circulation have important impacts on the rate of ocean carbon sequestration, biological productivity, and the transport of heat to the melting continental ice shelves.

The connections among these processes are the turbulent fluxes of heat, momentum, and gases through the air–sea interface, all of which depend on the interplay of winds, surface waves, and ocean currents. Persistent measurements of these quantities, however, are difficult to come by in the Southern Ocean.

We are using a Wave Glider (Liquid Robotics, Inc.), to which we've added a new set of capabilities including a profiling CTD winch, and high-frequency acoustic Doppler turbulence and chlorophyll fluorescence sensors. This autonomous surface vehicle will conduct a summer-season experiment to investigate ocean–shelf exchange on the West Antarctic Peninsula and frontal air–sea interaction over both the continental shelf and open ocean.

Mobile autonomous surface platforms such as the Wave Glider offer a cost-effective alternative to ship surveys and can greatly extend our database of direct measurements of Southern Ocean air–sea processes.

Media — 2017 Deployment

Successful Wave Glider Mission in the Southern Ocean.

Using an autonomous platform allowed us to have persistence in the region, as well as track or target the fronts and gradients that make the place so interesting.

Close

 

Close