Science Meetings

Near-Surface Observations of Temperature and Salinity from Profiling Floats: The Diurnal Cycle, Precipitation, and Mixing
Anderson, J.E. and Riser, S. (03-Dec-12)

Observations of near-surface temperature and salinity obtained from Argo-type profiling floats enhanced with an auxiliary Surface Temperature and Salinity (STS) CTD are presented. Using the STS unit, high vertical resolution (<10 cm) data in the near-surface layer were acquired nearly all the way to the sea surface. To date 35 STS floats have been deployed in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The vertical structure of temperature and salinity is examined in detail for each of these regions. While observations show the upper 5 meters to be well mixed the majority of the time, significant warming and freshening events are observed. Using NCEP, mooring, and satellite data, the boundary conditions required to produce the upper-ocean response and their relative importance are examined. The effects of heating and precipitation on the stability and mixing of the water column are also determined. Further, the details of mixing events and the diurnal cycle are investigated using the Price-Weller-Pinkel (PWP) one-dimensional mixed layer model. Additionally, the near-surface heat budget is examined.