Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 11:45 AM
Integrated Observing System for Characterization of Boundary Layer Processes and Air/Sea Interaction
Room 239 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Corporate, government, and university researchers collaborated to develop an atmospheric boundary layer environmental observations program on an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The primary goals of this project were to provide data to (1) improve our understanding of boundary layer processes and air-sea interaction over the Gulf of Mexico; (2) improve regional-scale meteorological and air quality modeling; and (3) provide a framework for advanced offshore measurements to support future needs such as emergency response, exploration and lease decisions, wind energy research and development, and meteorological and air quality forecasting. In October 2010, meteorological and oceanographic sensors were deployed for an extended period (approximately 12 months) on a Chevron service platform (ST 52B, 90.5W, 29N) to collect boundary layer and sea surface data sufficient to support these objectives. This project has significant importance given the large industrial presence in the Gulf, the sizeable regional population nearby, and the recognized need for precise and timely pollutant forecasts. Observations from this project include surface meteorology; sodar marine boundary layer winds; microwave radiometer profiles of temperature, relative humidity, and liquid water; ceilometer cloud base heights; water temperature and current profiles; sea surface temperature; wave height statistics; downwelling solar and infrared radiation; and air-sea turbulent momentum and heat fluxes. This project resulted in the collection of an unprecedented set of boundary layer measurements over the Gulf of Mexico that capture the range of meteorological and oceanographic interactions and processes that occur over an entire year. This presentation will provide insight into the logistical, technical, and scientific issues associated with the deployment and operations of unique measurements in offshore areas and provide results from an initial data analysis of boundary layer processes over the Gulf of Mexico, with a special focus on the relationship among measured and modeled energy fluxes and other oceanographic and atmospheric conditions.