High Resolution Upper Ocean Microstructure Measurements

Principal Investigator: 
Proposal Abstract: 

The upper-ocean structure of the Bay of Bengal is set by a complex zoo of processes, including  seasonal monsoons, large freshwater input, regional mesoscale dynamics, strong wind forcing, near-inertial internal waves (NIW) and associated turbulence.  To understand the interplay between these and their collective impact on heat and freshwater fluxes at the sea surface and between adjacent seas, detailed lateral and horizontal measurements are required in the surface mixed layer and below.  We propose to make observations of the lateral and vertical structure of turbulence by adding "chi-pod" microstructure sensors to the drifting Wirewalker profilers. The combination will be used in a targeted field campaign in the central Bay of Bengal, as part of the Office of Naval Research's  "Air-Sea Interactions in the Northern Indian Ocean – Regional Initiative" project.  Combined with other project resources and investigators, we hope to develop insights into the dynamical processes controlling turbulent mixing in the upper ocean, and eventually to improve parameterizations of upper ocean processes for use in Monsoon prediction models. 

Start and End Date: 
March 2013 to September 2014