In situ observations of open ocean (and in particular Southern Ocean) turbulent mixing are sparse, and remain one of the ‘holy grails’ of Oceanography. Ocean fronts and eddies are hotspots for raised turbulent mixing, however it is extremely intermittent and thus difficult to observe. The passage of strong atmospheric storms are thought to further enhance mixing at fronts and eddies, which has implications for the vertical exchange of nutrients and thus phytoplankton productivity, however these interactions have rarely been observed.  In order to appropriately observe turbulent mixing in the ocean, its impacts on upper-ocean structuring and phytoplankton production,  long sustained observations which are able to capture these intermittent mixing events are required.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 9.10.49 PM

Off she goes. The Slocum Glider integrated with the MicroRider package takes its first dip in South African waters.

 

 

To achieve this we use novel robotic platforms capable of carrying out multi-scale and multi-component observations for several weeks. Our Slocum Glider has been integrated with Rockland Scientific’s (RSI) MicroRider1000 turbulence package. The MicroRider includes specialised probes, which measure micro-scale turbulent dissipation and diffusion through the water water by measuring velocity fluctuations and temperature variations on a centimetre scale.

 

 

 

 

Last Friday, the first sea trials for our Slocum Glider and RSI MicroRider were successfully completed off Cape Town. The Slocum Glider with MicroRider will be deployed this summer in the SubAntarctic Zone (SAZ) on the SANAE57 cruise to Antarctica to measure how the passage of strong atmospheric storms may interact with ocean fronts (from driving physical mixing to phytoplankton productivity). The SAZ is subject to the regular passage of atmospheric storms and is known among Oceanographer’s as a region of strong frontal and eddy activity, thus we expect to find strong intermittent mixing most prevalent there.

 

IMG_1305

Two shear probes and one fast response thermistor with a sampling rate of 512 hz (i.e., every 0.0019 sec!!!)

IMG_1324

Slocum glider preparing for short test dives

 

IMG_1364

A curious sunfish comes in closer for a belly scratch during the MicroRider trials.

In situ observations of open ocean (and in particular Southern Ocean) turbulent mixing are sparse, and remain one of the ‘holy grails’ of Oceanography. Ocean fronts and eddies are hotspots for raised turbulent mixing, however it is extremely intermittent and thus difficult to observe. The passage of strong atmospheric storms are thought to further enhance mixing at fronts and eddies, which has implications for the vertical exchange of nutrients and thus phytoplankton productivity, however these interactions have rarely been observed.  In order to appropriately observe turbulent mixing in the ocean, its impacts on upper-ocean structuring and phytoplankton production,  long sustained observations which are able to capture these intermittent mixing events are required.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 9.10.49 PM

Off she goes. The Slocum Glider integrated with the MicroRider package takes its first dip in South African waters.

 

 

To achieve this we use novel robotic platforms capable of carrying out multi-scale and multi-component observations for several weeks. Our Slocum Glider has been integrated with Rockland Scientific’s (RSI) MicroRider1000 turbulence package. The MicroRider includes specialised probes, which measure micro-scale turbulent dissipation and diffusion through the water water by measuring velocity fluctuations and temperature variations on a centimetre scale.

 

 

 

 

Last Friday, the first sea trials for our Slocum Glider and RSI MicroRider were successfully completed off Cape Town. The Slocum Glider with MicroRider will be deployed this summer in the SubAntarctic Zone (SAZ) on the SANAE57 cruise to Antarctica to measure how the passage of strong atmospheric storms may interact with ocean fronts (from driving physical mixing to phytoplankton productivity). The SAZ is subject to the regular passage of atmospheric storms and is known among Oceanographer’s as a region of strong frontal and eddy activity, thus we expect to find strong intermittent mixing most prevalent there.

 

IMG_1305

Two shear probes and one fast response thermistor with a sampling rate of 512 hz (i.e., every 0.0019 sec!!!)

IMG_1324

Slocum glider preparing for short test dives

 

IMG_1364

A curious sunfish comes in closer for a belly scratch during the MicroRider trials.

'