89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 4:45 PM
Observations of oceanic mesoscale eddies in the VOCALS region
Room 128AB (Phoenix Convention Center)
Peter Gaube, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; and D. Chelton
Oceanic Mesoscale eddies of moderate amplitude (2 -10 cm) are a common dynamic feature of the southeastern Pacific Ocean that can readily be observed from satellite altimetry and ocean color observations. In support of the VOCALS-REx field program in November 2008 and historical analysis of satellite observations in the VOCALS region, we have developed a satellite support website that provides historical and near-real time satellite observations of sea surface temperature, sea surface height, surface winds, ocean color, atmospheric water vapor, cloud liquid water and cloud cover in the VOCALS region. After the VOCALS-REx field program the website will be maintained as a data server, providing a historical context for the interpretation of the observations collected during the filed program.

As an example of the types of historical analyses that can be conducted from the data stored on the VOCALS satellite support website, an investigation of the mesoscale eddy field will be presented, with emphasis placed on observations during the VOCALS-REx field program. Upper-ocean biological variability associated with the eddies is of particular interest because of its potential importance as a component of the coupled ocean-land-atmosphere system. Oceanic dimethylsulfide (DMS) produced by certain species of phytoplankton photo-oxidize in the atmosphere to become sulfate aerosols that can provide cloud condensation nuclei. Recently developed eddy tracking techniques will be employed to investigate the variability in the chlorophyll and cloud observations in a Lagrangian frame of reference translating with the eddies.

Supplementary URL: