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SEASOAR and CTD observations during a COARE surveys cruise, W9211A, 8 November to 8 December 1992 Public Deposited

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  • An international Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) was conducted in the warm-pool region of the western equatorial Pacific Ocean over a four-month period from November 1992 through February 1993 (Webster and Lukas, 1992). Most of the oceanographic and meteorological observations were concentrated in the Intensive Flux Array (IFA) centered at 1°45'S, 156°00'E. As part of this experiment, three survey cruises were conducted on the R/V Wecoma; each cruise included measurements of the temperature, salinity and velocity distribution in the upper 300 m of the ocean, and continuous meteorological measurements of wind, air temperature, humidity, etc. Most of these measurements were along a butterfly pattern that was sampled repeatedly during the three COARE Surveys cruises, W9211A and W9211B, and W9211C. Our primary objective was to measure zonal and meridional gradients across the center of the IFA. We originally intended to sample along a larger pattern (with diagonals of 200 km) at the beginning and end of each cruise, and to sample a smaller pattern (diagonals of 100 km) as continuously as possible through the main portion of each cruise. Early in W9211A, we found that the smaller pattern was not large enough to span the actual positions of the profiling current meter array, and that frequent deviations from our initial choice of longitude would be necessary to avoid moorings and quasistationary ships. We therefore abandoned our plan of two separate sampling patterns, and instead chose one Standard Butterfly Pattern with a meridional section along 156°06'W and a zonal section along 1°50'S, connected in the southwestern and northeastern quadrants. Along this track, we measured the upper-ocean temperature and salinity by means of a towed undulating Seasoar vehicle (Figure 1) equipped with a SeaBird CTD system, while underway at 7-8 knots. CTD casts were made at the beginning and end of each tow, primarily to check calibration of the Seasoar sensors; additional CTD casts were occasionally made along portions of the standard sections while Seasoar was disabled. Water velocity along the ship's track was measured by means of the ship-borne acoustic Doppler current profiler. This report summarizes the Seasoar and CTD observations from Wecoma's first COARE Surveys cruise, W9211A. It also provides a cruise narrative, and a brief description of the data processing procedures.
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