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In-situ observations of air-sea interaction in the South East Pacific

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Sebastien P. Bigorre, WHOI, Woods Hole, MA; and R. A. Weller

The South East Pacific ocean and its persistent deck of Stratus clouds, is a region of interest for air-sea interaction and climate studies. In recent years, several studies have described the hydrography of this region and related the presence of oceanic water masses to air-sea interaction at different latitudes. These water masses include the South Pacific Eastern Subtropical Mode Water (SPESTMW) and Eastern South Pacific Intermediate Water (ESPIW).

We present here 10 years of in-situ data collected at a surface mooring located at 20 S, 85 W. Data are surface meteorology, from which bulk air-sea fluxes are estimated, and oceanography (temperature, salinity, currents). This allows for the discussion of air-sea interaction processes occurring locally and the effect on SPESTMW and ESPIW. For each observed field an annual cycle is estimated by averaging the long time-series. Inter-annual anomalies related to ENSO, as well as possible climate trends and finally signals from mesoscale eddies are also discussed.

This dataset is also put into a regional context with the help of gridded datasets for air-sea fluxes (such as OA Flux) and hydrography (such as ARMOR, CARS) that use satellite sensing and lagrangian floats.